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
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.
Wow, that color is amazing! Very impressive : )