Beet And Ricotta Spaghetti

 

That is some insanely red pasta!  As we get close to Halloween, I could see how this blood-red spaghetti could be incorporated into a spooky themed meal, if you’re into that sort of thing.  But in our house it was served on a boring old Tuesday night, and it was pretty tasty!  We ate this as a main meal, but learn from our experience and enjoy this dish as a side dish to something else.  Maybe some sausage or roast beef.  The beets were a little too intense as a main course.  My husband and I paired the pasta with ricotta to start, but I also tried adding some sour cream to give it more of a borscht feel.  The husband added some Parmesan to make it a little more like spaghetti.  Both additions were successful, so fiddle around and see how you can adapt the taste to your liking.

1 lb beets, scrubbed, peeled, and diced into 1/2″ cubes

Olive Oil

Kosher Salt

1/2 c toasted walnuts

1 T tomato paste

12 oz whole wheat spaghetti

1 c ricotta cheese

Parmesan or sour cream, optional

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Arrange the beets in a single layer in a shallow dish.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.  Roast the beets for 45-60 minutes, until they are tender with pierced with a fork.  This can be done a few days in advance, just refrigerate the roasted beets in an airtight container.

Cook the pasta in heavily salted water, according to package directions.  Reserve 2 c. pasta water before draining the pasta.

While the pasta is cooking, add the beets, tomato paste, and walnuts to a food processor and process until smooth (1-2 minutes).  Add the beets to the drained pasta and stir in enough of the reserved pasta water to make a smooth sauce.  I ended up using about 1 c of the pasta water, you may need more or less depending on how much moisture the beets retained.  Serve topped with a healthy dollop of ricotta.  Add Parmesan or sour cream as you wish.

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