At Fiddleheads I am committed to seasonal cooking. I try to highlight the vegetables and fruits that are available at each time of year and to convey the beauty of seasonality to the students who come to cook at the studio. But winter is tough, and the end of winter and the beginning of spring is even harder. Even parsnips and beets are scarce now!
While doing some research on beet recipes, I came across a beautiful picture of pasta, that I knew I had to try! As a pasta lover, I always try to recreate my favorite pasta dishes from restaurants or the ones I see on Instagram. This one is definitely a keeper.
We are making this recipe at Fiddleheads during the last classes of the winter session. The students, now very experienced in handling the grater, enjoyed prepping the parmesan cheese (we only use blocks of cheese, never pre-grated), tasting the roasted beets (which can be roasted in advance), pulling the leaves off the carrot stems, and figuring out how long they need to cook the pasta (I like to use angel hair, which takes just under 5 minutes).
The result is beautiful and delicious. You NEED to try it!
SPAGHETTI WITH BEET AND HERB PESTO
2 medium to large beets
1 package of spaghetti
1 cup of green leaves such as spinach, basil, carrot tops or kale
¼ cup toasted pine nuts, walnuts or pumpkin seeds
½ cup olive oil
1-2 garlic cloves
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup parmesan cheese plus more for serving
Goat cheese – optional, for serving
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Double wrap each one of the beets with aluminum foil. Roast beets in the oven for about an hour, until softened. Remove from oven, unwrap the beets and let cool.
Cook pasta according to package instructions.
While pasta is cooking, place all ingredients except goat cheese in a food processor. Process in pulses so that it does not turn into a complete paste, but becomes very finely chopped, about 15-20 pulses.
Transfer beet pesto into a large skillet and cook on a medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring often.
Drain pasta and transfer into the skillet. Toss pasta in the beet and herb pesto until the pasta turns purple.
Serve immediately topped with more parmesan cheese and goat cheese.