Thursday, June 17, 2010

Use Your Booty: The Big Pink Pasta

There's a restaurant near my mom's house in New Jersey called The Big Pink Pasta. I am certain that this dish has never been on their menu. The orecchiette turns this gorgeous lurid pink from the cooked beets. I wanted to put pine nuts on this dish, but ended up using walnuts because my brand new very expensive bag of pine nuts was rancid. Gak.

Orecchiette with Beets
Serves 3-4
When I have nice fresh bunch of beets handy I like to use both the beetroot and the greens in same dish if I can. If you don't have beet greens, use spinach or Swiss chard. I use this method to cook my beets. I cut them into small cubes before cooking.
  • 12 oz orecchiette pasta (shells make a good substitute)
  • 6-8 cups beet greens, cut into strips
  • 2 cups cooked, cubed beets
  • 4 oz feta cheese
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts (or pine nuts)
Boil the pasta in salted water. Put the cooked beets into a colander in the sink.

When the pasta is almost done, use a coffee mug to scoop out some of the starchy pasta water. Drop in the beet greens and they'll wilt down. Strain the pasta and greens into the colander (over the beet cubes - see you heat them up this way. Clever, ya?)

Dump the pasta and beets back into the cooking pot. Stir in the feta cheese and drizzle a little oil in to the pasta. Add a little cooking water and stir gently. If the pasta seems too dry add a little more water. Sprinkle in most of the nuts, reserving a few for garnish.

Taste for salt and pepper and adjust the seasoning to your taste. Spoon the pasta into soup plates and sprinkle the remaining nuts over the top.

This Summer, I am chronicling my first CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) experience. My CSA share is from Arrowhead Farm, a farm based in Newburyport, MA. Each week, I am posting about what was in my share and what I'm doing with it. By way of full disclosure, I won my share through a raffle and am not paying for it. However, Arrowhead did not know I was entered in the raffle, and I received no special consideration because of this blog. I paid for my livestock share.


Julia said...

Costco seems to go through two-pound bags of pignolis pretty quickly, and they keep forever in the freezer. FYI.

Sunday Cook said...

My Costco has either hidden them on me or doesn't carry them right now. Used to be my go-to source for them,

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