I think about beets a lot, partially because I love the lyrical sound of the word in Italian: Barbabietole. I can say it over and over again: Bar-ba-bi-e-to-le. Partially because I love the playful sound of the word in Spanish: Remolacha. (“Come here my little remolacha.”) And partially because I like Michael Jackson’s song, Beet it: Just Beet It, Beet It, Beet It. It Doesn’t Matter Who’s Wrong Or Right. Just Beet It, Beet It…
I also think about beets a lot because I grew up hating them, believing that they came only from a can. (Foul.) But beets don’t need to be that way. In fact, fresh beets, roasted in the oven with a little olive oil (until they are very well done, in my humble opinion), make a delicious addition to pasta. So try it: Barbabietole. Remolachas. Just Beet it!
p.s. Check out our wine pairings to complement this dish.Print
Sunday Pasta®: Farfalle con Barbabietole (Beets)
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 4-6 1x
- 1 pound farfalle
- 6–8 beets, with tops
- 8 ounces spinach (optional)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- Salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Remove the top greens and the roots of the beets. Scrub with a vegetable brush to remove any lose dirt. Cut the top greens into 2 inch widths and wash well. Set aside. Cut the beets into halves or quarters, depending on their size (about 1/2-inch, bite-sized pieces).
- Place the beets on a baking sheet and toss with the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, turning occasionally, until the beets are well done.
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil, and add the and garlic. When golden, add the greens (and spinach) and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook until wilted.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta until al dente. Drain it, retaining 1 cup of the cooking water. Add the pasta to the beets along with the reserved cooking water and cook together for about a minute.
- Serve immediately with sprinkle of Parmigiano.
I prefer to use a larger number of small beets, if you can find them. They can then be cut into halves.