Using the Harvest: Magenta Pasta with Beets

The backyard garden is bursting with beets!  I’ve mostly roasted them, juiced them and enjoyed them raw (grated) in salads.  Searching for something different, I remembered my friend Marilyn, a.k.a. the Xotic Doc sharing a pasta dish with beets.

Delighted and surprised I was by the dazzling color and earthly sweet flavors in this dish, a great choice if you are looking for something different.

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium onion, cut in half from root to end then sliced thinly

5 to 6 medium sized garlic cloves, minced

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

2 tablespoons dried currents, cranberries or sugar plums (If using sugar plums (prunes), chop into small pieces.)

2 hefty cups beet greens, finely chopped

2 medium sized red beets, cooked, peeled and cut into julienne type strips

¼ cup dry red wine

¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons beet cooking liquid

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, or more to taste

1 heaping tablespoon white or mellow barley miso

1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, minced (or use 2 teaspoons dried tarragon)

6 ounces linguine or fettuccine (I used a gluten free rice fettuccine)

2 tablespoons pine nuts, lightly toasted

Method:

Add oil to a skillet over medium heat.  Add onion and sauté until translucent.  Stir in garlic and pepper.  Sauté for one minute.  Add your dried fruit of choice, beets and beet greens, stir and sauté for a minute.

Add wine and ¼ cup of the beet cooking liquid.  Cover and cook 5 to 7 minutes (until the greens have wilted).

While this is cooking, place salted water on stove to start boiling for your pasta

Whisk together in a small bowl 2 tablespoons beet cooking liquid, lemon juice and miso.  Stir mixture into the beet sauce in skillet with half of the tarragon; remove from the heat and cover.

Cook pasta al dente.  Drain and immediately add to the beet sauce in skillet.  Return to burner over medium heat and stir gently until pasta turns magenta (just a few minutes).

Plate and garnish with pine nuts and a sprinkle of tarragon.

Serves 4.

Wine: I had this dish with Woffard Acres Vineyards (WAV Wines) Rose of Dry Syrah.  The pairing was phenomenal.  You could also try a Sauvignon Blanc or for red, Merlot.

Recipe adapted from Vegetarian Times.

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