Beetroot and pasta is a lovely combination, but for a change try this lovely summer pasta recipe using Golden Beetroot. This sunny coloured vegetable has a slightly milder flavour than the regular heavily flavoured purple one and with its vibrant, bright yellow, brings a splash of colour to any dish.
Combined, the beetroot with fresh herb pesto and fresh spicy rocket (arugala) makes this pasta dish up on the healthy scale (use whole wheat pasta and you will score even more goodness points)
Different coloured beetroots are also known as heritage beetroot, probably because these beets were better known long before the more common purple beetroot took over.
- 4 large beets (golden beetroots)
- 300g (1.6 pnts) (cooked, hot, fresh, penne pasta
- 2 tbsp fresh herb pesto
- 1/2 cup washed arugula (ruccola, or rocket)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Dash sea salt
- Carefully wash the beetroot under cold running water and pat dry with kitchen paper. Cut away the leaves making sure you leave at least 2.5 cm / 1" of stalk, preferably a little more if you can.
- Place the beets into a heavy roasting tin. Sprinkle the beetroots sprinkle with the extra virgin oil, roll the beetroots around in the oil to make sure they all have a coating of the oil. Sprinkle salt and thyme all over the beets and roll again.
- Pop the roasting tin into the middle of the preheated oven and cook for 40 - 45 minutes or until the beets are soft but not shrunken (which means you left them too long).
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool. One cooled, rub the skin away with a piece of kitchen paper and cut away the roots and stalks and discard.
- Chop the cooked beets into good bite-sized chunks.
- Place the hot, cooked penne pasta into a warmed, large serving bowl. Add the pesto and stir thoroughly making sure the pasta is coated in the sauce.
- Add the ruccola/rocket, stir again then finally add the cooked beetroot and give the whole dish a really good stir.
- Drizzle the pasta with the extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately with a fresh green salad and crusty bread.
Ring the Changes with the Golden Beetroots
You can, of course, use the traditional purple beets, but be prepared that the whole dish will turn pink; this is very attractive but does not appeal to everyone. Appearance aside, the flavour is excellent.
Swap the rocket /arugula for lightly shredded purple radicchio. This gorgeous vegetable adds another stunning colour to the dish. With the heat of the pasta, it will wilt ever so slightly, but that is a good thing.