November 12, 2014

pasta with walnut-beet pesto and ricotta

After making pasta with radicchio, raisins, and pine nuts I realized how much I enjoyed the creamy ricotta topping on pasta.  This dish is a great way to make a pretty pasta and get plenty servings of vegetables, plus it's perfect for a week night.  Once the beets are done (which can be done earlier in the day or days ahead of time) it only took 15 minutes to prepare.  

This recipe will surprise you with the incredible flavor.  When it is all said and done there is a hint of beet, but the majority of the flavor is from the toasted walnuts, red pepper flakes, and creamy ricotta.  My girls especially loved eating their fuschia spaghetti noodles!

Servings 4-6
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes (1 hour is inactive baking time)

  • 1 1/2 pounds red beets, trimmed, halved, and scrubbed  
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • coarse salt (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 3/4 cup walnuts, toasted (you can use a skillet over medium heat or broil in the oven... just be careful to not burn them!)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped tomatoes
  • red-pepper flakes
  • 1 pound pasta, spaghetti
  • 3/4 cup fresh ricotta


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. 

Drizzle beets with oil and season with salt. Wrap tightly in parchment paper and then foil.  Roast until tender, 1 hour. Peel and chop once cool. 

Pulse beets, walnuts, and tomatoes in a food processor or blender. Season with salt and red-pepper flakes.

 Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1 cup water, and return to pot.

Toss with beet mixture, adding pasta water until creamy. 

Top with ricotta, a drizzle of oil, and red-pepper flakes. Enjoy!!

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