Monday, June 27, 2011
Fusilli with Golden Beets, Beet Greens and Toasted Walnuts
Believe it or not, one of the best parts of my job in summer is that we eat in the UCSB dining commons. They are award winning. They use as many local and sustainable ingredients as they can. And, they have a huge variety of food at every meal. Last week they had an amazing beet salad that I missed out on, so I was inspired to find my own beet recipe. This one was great. I was a little sceptical about beets and pasta, but the combo was super tasty. And easy...noticing a theme in this blog?! So, try this out for a quick, easy, fresh summer pasta; no orientation needed.
Recipe slightly adapted from Epicurius,
1/3 cup walnuts, chopped
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 large onions, quartered lengthwise through root end, sliced crosswise (about 4 cups)
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 bunches 2-inch-diameter golden beets with fresh healthy greens; beets peeled, each cut into 8 wedges, greens cut into 1-inch-wide strips
12 ounces fusilli pasta
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese plus additional for serving
Heat heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add walnuts and stir until lightly toasted, about 3 minutes. Transfer to small bowl. Add 2 tablespoons oil and onions to same skillet and sauté until beginning to soften and turn golden, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to sauté until onions are tender and browned, about 30 minutes longer. Add garlic and stir 2 minutes. Scatter beet greens over onions. Drizzle remaining 2 tablespoons oil over; cover and cook until beet greens are tender, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook beets in large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 10 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer beets to medium bowl. Return water to boil. Add pasta to beet cooking liquid and cook until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking liquid. Return pasta to pot.
Stir onion-greens mixture and beets into pasta. Add pasta cooking liquid by tablespoons to moisten. Season with salt and coarsely ground black pepper. Stir in 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese. Divide pasta among shallow bowls. Sprinkle with walnuts. Serve, passing additional cheese.