February 06, 2012

Pretty in Pink Pasta (aka Beet Pasta)

Now that Super Bowl is over, it's time to post some Valentine's recipes!

Valentine's Day doesn't really have much significance for me, but I still like to celebrate it by watching romantic movies (hence the title of this post) and making treats to fit the holiday theme!  This year, I made two recipes (a dinner and dessert) that both feature a secret ingredient to make them a beautiful Valentine's pink ... beets!

For my dinner recipe, I made this pasta with a colourful beet sauce.  The beets are first roasted in the oven and then pureed with yogurt, lemon, garlic and spices to make a creamy and flavorful coating for the noodles. I also added some toasted pine nuts and fresh parsley on top of my pasta, which I thought made it more special and enhanced the presentation factor, but you can leave the pine nuts out for a more budget-friendly dish.

Since I love beets in any form, especially the flavor of roasted beets, it was no surprise that I loved this pasta! But if you do decide to make this for someone special, make sure they're a fan of beets first because they are definitely the star of this dish!

Stay tuned later this week for my Valentine's dessert with beets!

Beet Pasta
Adapted from Moderate Oven

4-5 oz dried pasta - wide noodles like fettucine or pappardelle work best (make sure they are egg-free for a vegan dish - I used durum wheat ribbons in parsley-garlic flavour)

2 medium beets
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup low-fat plain yogurt (or soy yogurt)
1/2 tsp cumin
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper
2-3 tbsp pine nuts
about 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley for garnishing

First, roast the beets. Wrap whole beets in tin foil and place on a baking sheet. Cook in the oven at 400° for about 60 minutes, until they are tender. When the beets are done roasting, peel and slice off the ends. Cut into quarters, then place in a blender.

In a small skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds, until lightly browned. Transfer the contents of the skillet to the blender with the beets.  Add the lemon juice, yogurt, cumin, cayenne, and a pinch of salt and pepper to the blender.  Puree until you have a smooth sauce. 

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling water according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.

Toast the pine nuts in a dry skillet for a few minutes, until they are lightly browned and fragrant.

To serve, toss the cooked pasta with the beet sauce.  If the sauce and pasta have already cooled, you can heat a large skillet on the stove, then toss the pasta and sauce together in the skillet and heat until warm.  Top with toasted pine nuts and fresh parsley.

Makes 2 servings. 


  1. OMG. That sounds awesome, not to mention the look of it... I totally know what I'm going to cook next!
    A tbsp of tahini would also be delicious in the sauce, I suppose!

    1. Thanks! Tahini actually does sound like it would work well here, I never thought of that...Let me know if you give it a try!

  2. So much fun and colorful- we absolutely need this burst of color come February (well at least I do!)

    I am definitely a fan of beets, I love their earthy flavor :)

    1. As long as you're a fan of beets then you would like this! I love their color too and it is fun to eat pink noodles!

  3. What an incredible beet dish! I happen to have beets in my fridge that need to be used up...now I know exactly how to put them to good use. If you get a chance, I would love for you to share this great recipe tomorrow on Allergy-Free Wednesdays at http://www.glutenfreepantry.blogspot.com/p/allergy-free-wednesdays.html

    1. Thanks Laura! I will try to remember to stop by tomorrow and share the recipe

  4. I have never tried beets, but they're my husband's favorite, so I'm thinking I should really make them sometime. :) And even if I don't like them, at least they're pretty--your pasta looks great and perfect for Valentine's Day!

    1. Thank you! I can't believe you've never tried beets! I can understand people who don't like them because they've only ever seen the canned kind...but roasted beets are so good, you should definitely give them a chance :)

  5. How creative and gorgeous is this?!?!?!? Love it!

    1. Thanks Nora! I didn't have to do much to make it look pretty - the beets did it all themselves!

  6. I'm making a variation on this tonight, Gen! Thanks for the inspiration ... it's cool, I was Googling what to do with my leftover beets, and your blog came up. :)

    1. Haha that's funny...although I do tend to make a lot of recipes with beets, so I guess I'm not surprised that my blog came up! Hope you like yours!



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