La Différence

La Différence
A passion for food

Tuesday 19 August 2014

Pasta with Beetroot, Feta & Pine Nuts

Delciously healthy vegetarian fodder, cheap as chips too.
Beetroot is a great favourite...not so much the pickled in jars kind but the fresh sweetly roasted or boiled kind.
I grew the beetroot myself and they were picked, cooked and on the table within hours...some of the wonderful leaves & stems are included along with the cooking liquor......waste not want not.... this gave a wonderful colour to the actual pasta as well as adding a real depth of flavour to the dish.
Feta, Pinenuts and a good glug of decent Balsamic vinegar added to produce a wonderful flavour combination......just perfect for a summery lunch.

For 2/3 decent portions I used

6 medium sized beetroot....washed well. leaves removed and saved. Chop the stalks finely and slice through the leaves
if you buy the beet without leaves then substitute with a little spinach, Swiss chard or similar greens 
1 small onion finely diced
2 tbsps aged balsamic vinegar
a little olive oil for frying
a handful of toasted pinenuts
around 6oz of Cavatappi, macaroni or penne or similar pasta
1 tsp sea salt or so
fresly ground black pepper to taste
3/4oz Feta Cheese crumbled
1 tsp dried oregano
a little extra virgin oil for drizzling


Cover the unpeeled beets with water in a saucepan, add a tsp or so of salt, bring to the boil and simmer until cooked through....approx 35 minutes
Leave in the pan until cool enough to handle.......keep the cooking liquor, it adds an incredible earthiness and you lose none of it's flavour & goodness
it also turns the pasta lovely.
When cool enough to handle, gently remove the skins and chop into approx 1" cubes
Put the pan with the cooking liquid back on the stove and bring to the boil.
Add the pasta and perhaps a little more boiling water and cook as per packet instructions.
Meanwhile, add a little olive oil to the a frying pan,  sautee the onion until transluscent
Add the beet stalks first, cook on for a couple of minutes then add the leaves
Throw in the balsamic vinegar...and stir through, heat for a minute or so
Add the cooked pasta to the pan and toss everything together
Add the feta stir through....check your seasoning
Sprinkle over the Pinenuts, the oregano and drizzle with the extra virgin olive oil 

The pasta turns a lovely shade of red when cooked in the saved beetroot liquorThe pasta turns a lovely shade of red when cooked in the saved beetroot liquor

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