Can’t Beet This Pasta Sauce!

All Done

If you think there’s a typo in my headline think again! I love beets and wanted to do something different with the beets I purchased from the market so I made up a beet sauce for pasta. I rarely have pasta during the summer but was craving it lately. Because I’m eating a lot of salsa and tomatoes from my garden (they are finally turning red thanks to our high temperatures in Des Moines) I didn’t want to do a traditional tomato sauce. This is when I had my big idea – beet sauce!

I really just came up with this recipe from ingredients I had around the house: beets, garlic, mushrooms, tomatoes, and red onions. I should do things like this more often as I usually find that the best sauces are from whatever is begging to be eaten.

Here’s a quick how-to:

3 large beets and 3 cloves of garlic, roasted and sliced
3 large mushrooms, sliced
1 small red onion, sliced – the one I used was petite so maybe a quarter of a regualr one
1 small tomato, sliced – I used Roma but any variety would work
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup of walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup of reserve pasta water
Whole wheat pasta of your choice, cooked

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Wash and de-green your beets and remove skin from garlic. Place the beets and garlic in a small bowl and drizzle with a few tablespoons of EVOO and salt and pepper. Wrap beets and garlic tightly in a piece of foil and roast for about 30 minutes or until beets are tender.

When beets and garlic are roasted, let cool and then remove skin from beets. Slice garlic, beets, tomato, mushrooms, and onion and place in a food processor. Reduce to sauce. Add 1/4 cup of EVOO and 1/4 cup of walnuts and process again until smooth. IMG_1475Finishing Up

Place beet sauce in pan and warm on low. Cook pasta according to directions. Once pasta is done but before draining, add 1/2 cup of reserve pasta water to beet sauce and let simmer.

I served this two different ways. The first time I placed the sauce on a bed of pasta (as seen in the cover photo). When I was putting leftovers away that night I mixed leftover pasta and sauce and so the second time around the pasta had a bit more flavor because it had been in the sauce overnight. I enjoyed it either way but the second way was prettier! Leftovers

Check out my beet hummus recipe from last winter. If you don’t care for beets I challenge you to try either of these recipes as neither of them are too heavy in flavor! How do you care to eat beets? Do you choose golden or red?

Bon Appétit!