Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Beetroot and cumin pasta

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
Serves 3-4
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.


  1. You might give beet gnocchi a try. Here's my version. http://culinary-adventures-with-cam.blogspot.com/2011/01/beet-asiago-gnocchi.html

  2. The whole family loves pasta and we eat beetroot too,but have never thought of combining these two.But after this,It's worth a try.Thanks.

  3. You know, initially I thought...tomato and beetroot...nah, wouldn't like that...but as I read through the recipe and the different components, the heat of the chili and the aroma and taste of toasted cumin seeds and the dish topped with some crumbled feta...I changed my mind. I bet this was delicious MC...and I do love beets too D! Also love the second photo with the green around the plate..nice presentation!

  4. That sure is a "vibrant" dish! When I first saw the thumbnail picture of your post I thought it must be about chillis (my favourite subject...)
    It sounds a bit Asian-inspired with the cumin seed in it.

  5. This looks and sounds absolutely delicious; thanks so much for sharing the recipe! I'm a big beetroot fan and eat it most days - roast in the oven with garlic and served as a side vegetable. It also works well with feta cheese in soup!

  6. Looks gorgeous, I wouldnt have thought to put beetroot and cumin together, but I bet its great - thanks x

  7. Beets are so healthy for you! I love beet juice, but I am not fond of beets on their own like in salads. I might have to give this a go though!

  8. This is a really interesting recipe. New ideas on using beetroot are always welcome. I love cumin combined with pasta...I'm putting this on my list of things to make this week.

  9. I've had beetroot 3 ways, boiled (plain), pickled, and diced in salads. Your recipe is interesting because I'd never thought of combining beetroot with tomato and having it with pasta...I'm going to have to try this!

  10. I'll say, I would never have thought of this! It sounds delish!!


  11. Definitely plan on trying this! I am learning to love beets after a lifetime of them being the one food I didn't like and always excited to find new things to try! Thanks:)

  12. I'm not a big fan of beetroot, one of my friend does. I'm sure going to give her this recipe.

  13. It looks so bright! Im more used to beetroot salad or soup :)

  14. That looks absolutely gorgeous. I love beetroot so this is definitely one for me. Mr OC unfortunately is not a fan of the red stuff, he will have to eat something else that night.

  15. This RED dish is soooo cool!!! So interesting and different recipe! And speedy which is soooo importand for everyone!!! Thanks for sharing my sweet Mangocheeks!!!!

  16. You have an award waiting for you: http://bit.ly/fE7iqT
    Mateja @Indulging Life

  17. I love beetroot and pasta!

  18. Camilla.
    I certainly will. Thank you for sharing.

    Thanks aynzan.
    So delighted to read that you have family that embraces beetroot. I so hope they all enjoy this recipe, please let me know :)

    Hi there dear Gardeningbren.
    Its always lovely to hear from you :)
    Listen if you liked that rhubarb curry dish last year, I have no doubt this will surprise you too - it certainly did me. It was really delicious. The green around the plate was Ds idea (the amateur photographer likes experimenting) I think it worked as it lifts the colours in the dish too.

    Mark Willis.
    Sure is a "vibrant" dish!
    You know I like chillies too, but this recipe has only a incy wincy bit - you can up it a little if you wish, but not too much, as the dish is namely about the beetroot :)

    Thank you so much mrs green.
    I am so delighted to read that you really like the recipe!

    As you know now I am not a big beetroot fan, the way you and my husband are, but I think I may have to try it as soup again, this time with feta cheese though!

  19. Thanks freerangegirl.
    The beetroot and cumin really do work together. Please do give it a try :)

    Thanks Carissa.
    That is interesting that you like beet juice, but not so much beets on their own. Mmmmm I have to encourage you to try this recipe!

    Thanks Rose.
    Please please do let me know how you find it if you get to make it this week :) I'd love to read your opinion.

    Oh Theanne - YOU do make me smile :D
    - Boiled (plain), pickled, and diced in salads.

    Please do make this recipe, I think you might just like it, it does have a sweetness about it and is not that spicy!

    Thanks Alessandra.
    Honestly, it really works well and was one of the most delicious pasta sauces I've had in a long long time.

  20. Thanks Sarah.
    Please, please let me know how you gind if you do get round to trying this recipe. I'd love to know what you thought! I have a good feelign that you will enjoy:)

    Thanks Victor.
    I totally understand, hence the reason I'm on the hunt for new ways of eating beetroot. If you do make this recipe for your friend - YOU must tast it too. Let me know what you think :)

    Thanks Medeja.
    I am like you, used to seeing beetroot in either a salad or soup, but this was a refreshing change and one I will def. make again :)

    Thank you so much Kath.
    If you do make it, please do tempt Mr OC to try some, you never know this may be the recipe to change his mind on beetroot - after many years of avoiding it, i'm slowly embracing beetroot and its ruddy stains :)

    Thank you so much donkey and the carrot.

    Thank you so much for thinking of my blog and humbling me with a blogger award Mateja ^_^

    Thank you so much Lela.

  21. I can just imagine the flavors in this hearty pasta dish, Mango. And what a lovely color.

  22. I absolutely love beets, especially fresh ones. I usually just shred them to eat raw in salads or roast them in chunks... I would have never thought about pasta, nor adding cumin! Can't wait to try this!

  23. Thank you so much Cassie.
    Let me know what you think, if you get round to making this.

  24. I am a beet fan, but i do avoid cooking any beet dishes at home coz it get messy !!! but your recipe inspires me to try this one :)

  25. Thank you for your lovely comment HGourmet Foodie.
    I agree Beetroot is a messy veg to cook with, but when it gives dramatic colour like that to a dish - then sometimes its worth it.
    Also Thank you so much for choosing to become a follower. It is most appreciated :)

  26. Hi there, thank you for stopping by my blog! It's nice to meet you! This dish looks so absolutely delicious! Very unique and flavorful!

  27. Thank you so much for repaying the compliment Emily Z. I am so pleased you like the dish. I agree it is rather unique and it certainly was packed with flavour.

  28. This sounds perfect for tonight. I have a few extra cooked beets and the rest of the ingredients, so thanks.

  29. Thank you Claudia,
    Please let me know how you found it.

  30. I love pasta,cumin and beetroot but never put these 3 together.I am sure to try this.Will come back and let u know how it turned out.
    Btw,you have a nice choice of recipes in your blog :)


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