Cavatelli with Beets, Cacioricotta and Pistachios
Pink pasta! My daughter ate this 2 nights in a row, totally clueless to the fact that it was actually healthy, all she saw was pink and she liked it. I love beets, their jewel-like color, all of the vitamins that they pack in and their earthy flavor. They have been hard to find lately, not appearing in the market at all and only available in vacuum-packed bags, pre-cooked. Not too tempting.
I was super happy to finally find these at the market, with their greens still attached and still very fresh. I have been itching to try this recipe and even though I changed a lot of it using what I had at hand, I like the browned butter and the process of grating the beets raw as opposed to roasting them. Despite my pink fingers and my longing for the Cuisinart that I had to abandon in the US, grating the beets is a perfect short-cut to deliciously cooked beets and you don’t have to heat up your kitchen too much.
Of course this is a perfect healthy pasta for little girls who are pink and purple obsessed. Not only is this pasta delicious and fairly healthy, it is also beautiful, the ruby seeping into every pore of the cavatelli. I honestly didn’t think I could pull the wool over my daughter’s eyes, she’ll go through phases of trying everything and then back to wanting the same thing everyday. She’s been in a “Bread and Jam for Francis” state this week, but I managed to suck her in with color, now I need to figure out how to get more protein and add the greens without her noticing.
Cavatelli with Beets, Cacioricotta & Pistachios
adapted from The New York Times
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 pounds beets, peeled and finely grated
- beet greens
- 1 1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 3/4 pound fresh or dried cavatelli
- 1/4 cup chopped pistachios
- 1/2 cup grated cacioricotta or ricotta salata
- In a large heavy skillet over medium heat, melt 5 tablespoons of butter. Cook until foam subsides and butter is a deep hazelnut color, about 5 minutes. (Watch carefully to see that it doesn’t burn.) Stir in beets and season with 1 1/4 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook until beets are very tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in vinegar. Season with additional salt and pepper if needed.
- Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook cavatelli until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/3 cup cooking liquid.
- Transfer pasta to the skillet with the beets, toss with most of the reserved liquid over a medium flame. Remove from the heat and toss in the remaining tablespoon of butter. Plate the pasta and add the grated cacioricotta and the pistachios. Serve immediately.
- YIELD 4 servings
One Year Ago: Spaghetti con Seppie e Asparagelle
Two Years Ago: Puntarelle Pugliesi
Four Years Ago: Pastiera