Although I have found two ways of enjoying beetroot - in the form of hash browns, and beetroot bulgar. I am still, always on the prowl for other recipes to encourage me to eat more of this deep crimson vegetable. Another reason I can't completely overlook this root vegetable is that D really likes its flavour.
Well whilst surfing the web, I stumbled upon this recipe for 'Beetroot, tomato and cumin pasta' and I just couldn't skip it.
It had beetroot for D, cumin seeds for me and pasta. Its been a long while since we sat down and had a good pasta dish, so this evenings meal was decided there and then. The original recipe recommends papparadelle, but I'm quite clumsy with noodle like pasta. Also at the risk of this beetroot dyed pasta falling off my fork and staining my clothing, I chose casarecce, a pasta that would surely hold and trap both the sauce and the grated beetroot. It was an excellent choice, not a red spot in sight.
This is quite a speedy recipe to make and one I'd recommend making after work. First it was a delight to watch how the pasta transformed in colour, from plain beige to deep Gothic crimson. Secondly, the flavours were absolutely wonderful. The earthy beetroot was uplifted by both the sweetness of the tomatoes and the zingyness of the fresh lemon juice; and the warmth of the spices came through subtle as a hint. I will definitely be making this again. Its a very red dish, so the scattering of fresh parsley will also make a world of difference to you or your guests eyes.
I am submitting this to Presto Pasta Nights or PPN as it is fondly known. This weeks PPN#199 is being hosted by Ruth of Once Upon a Feast. Ruth was also the inspiration behind PPN. As this is quite an unusual dish and relatively cheap to make, I have also decided to submit this to Good (& Cheap) Eats link-up for What's On Your Plate?
Beetroot and cumin pasta
1 x 400g tinned tomatoes, blitzed in a food processor
1 medium red onion, finely sliced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, lightly toasted
½ tsp chilli flakes
250g cooked beetroot (not in vinegar)
1 small lemon
small handful of flat-leaf parsley, minced
400g casarecce or pappardelle pasta
Optional 100g Greek feta cheese
Cook pasta according to packet instructions.
For the beetroot and cumin sauce
Heat the olive oil in a wide pan and stir in the onion. Cook, stirring often, for about 8 min until soft. Stir in the cumin seeds and chilli flakes and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the tomatoes and salt to taste, then adjust the heat so the tomatoes simmer, cooking until thick and sauce like. Meanwhile, peel the beetroot (if necessary) and grate. Stir the beetroot into the tomato and add lemon juice to taste and then scatter over the parsley leaves.
When the pasta is ready, drain and stir well into the sauce so that is is well combined.
Optional Crumble over some feta if using and serve immediately. Adapted from this recipe.