This lovely dish is from Keith Abel’s cookbook: Cooking Outside the Box: Easy, Seasonal, Organic. It’s a great way to use up any beetroot that you may have . Serves 4.
- About 700g (1lb 6oz) beetroot
- A few good glugs of olive oil
- 400g (14oz) penne
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- Juice of ½ lemon
- ½ mug of single cream To garnish:
- Plenty of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Toasted walnuts, finely chopped
- Chopped fresh parsley or basil
Preheat the oven to 190C. Place the whole beetroot in an oiled baking pan, rub with olive oil and cover tightly with foil.
Roast the beetroot until fork tender. The cooking time will vary according to the size of the beetroot, but will probably be around 1-1 ½ hours.
When the beetroot is cooked through, remove it from the oven and set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, start boiling a pan of water for the pasta and preparing the other ingredients. When the water has boiled, add the pasta and cook according to the packet instructions.
Now peel the beetroot (the skin should slip off easily), remove any remaining stems or hard bits, and cut into bite-sized chunks.
(You can save a whole lot of time by using pre-cooked and peeled beetroots that you sometimes find vacuum packed in your greengrocers!)
Saute the garlic in a pan with a few some olive oil for a couple of minutes over a medium heat. Then add the beetroot and sauté for a further few minutes to ensure it’s hot. Stir in the lemon juice and mix well.
Lower the heat and gradually add the cream, cooking for about 2-3 minutes until just hot.
Spoon the creamy beetroot mixture over the drained pasta and top with lots of Parmesan, toasted walnuts and fresh herbs.
If you have leftovers, try tossing them with a block of crumbled feta or goat’s cheese and some olive oil and bake in a greased baking pan at medium heat for about 20 minutes, until heated throughout and slightly crunchy on top.
You’ll end up with a rather colourful and sophisticated version of macaroni and cheese!