Prettiest Pasta Ever? I Think So. {Spaghetti with Roasted Beet Pesto & Goat Cheese}

I’d like to say that I added this pasta onto my menu for the week because of how healthy it is. Or because it’s so simple to make. Or because I like beets a lot, and I love (love, love, love) goat cheese, and knew this would be super yummy (which it was).

But the real reason I decided to make this? That amazing color.

Spaghetti with Roasted Beet Pesto & Goat Cheese

1 bunch beets, about 1 lb.

Olive Oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

1/2 cup raw walnuts

2 sun-dried tomato halves, chopped

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 (13- to 16-oz.) package whole wheat spaghetti

1) Preheat oven to 375°F. Trim stalks from beets. Place beets on a large square of foil. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and rub each beet well with the oil. Fold the foil around the beets and close tightly. Roast for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until fork tender. Remove from the oven, open the foil pouch, and allow to cool a bit.

2) Rub the skins off the beets using the foil or your hands. Chop into pieces. Process in a food processor with the walnuts, sun-dried tomatoes, and red pepper flakes. Taste, and add salt and pepper as needed.

3) Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water. Drain, reserving up to 1 cup of the pasta water to add to the pesto — add some a little bit at a time to the food processor until the pesto is smooth (you may not need it all).

4) Toss the pesto with the pasta. Serve sprinkled with goat cheese.

*Adapted from Take a Megabite

Pesto Pasta with Chickpeas and Tomatoes

I wanted to make something to use up some pesto I had in the fridge, and after looking through a few cookbooks I decided on this recipe. The pesto is mixed with some of the pasta cooking water and tossed with the pasta, and then the pasta is topped with a delicious tomato-chickpea sauce.

This was a very tasty meal that came together really quickly, making it great for a weeknight dinner.

Pesto Pasta with Chickpeas and Tomatoes
366 Delicious Ways to Cook Rice, Beans, and Grains, Andrea Chesman

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 shallots, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups diced vine-ripened or canned tomatoes
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper flaked (I used just a dash)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups cooked chickpeas, drained (I used canned)
1 pound orecchiette or shells
1/2 cup store-bought or homemade pesto

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are translucent, about 3 minutes. Increase the heat to high. Add the tomatoes, wine, and both, and cook until the sauce thickens, about 10 minutes. Add the hot pepper flakes and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the chickpeas and cook another 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta until just al dente. Drain well, reserving a few tablespoons of the cooking liquid to thin down the pesto. Place the pasta in a large serving bowl. Thin the pesto with the reserved cooking liquid, add the pesto sauce to the pasta, and toss well.

To serve, spoon the pasta into individual bowls. Top with the tomato-chickpea mixture. Serve at once.

4-6 servings

(Based on 4 serving:) 795 Calories, 26 grams Protein, 18.9 grams Fat, 1mg Cholesterol, 9 grams Dietery fiber, 243 mg Sodium, 108 mg Calcium  

Farfalle with Zucchini, Mint, and Almonds

This is a lovely summer pasta dish. Although I do not grow my own vegetables (I’ve killed pretty much everything I’ve tried growing, except for rosemary and oregano), I know that many people who have gardens tend to have an abundance of zucchini and mint, and this would be a great way to use some of it up.
I served it with a simple tomato salad (sliced vine-ripened tomatoes, minced fresh garlic, coarse sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, and extra-virgin olive oil). This salad would also be wonderful with it.

Farfalle with Zucchini, Mint, and Almonds

Vegan Italiano, Donna Klein

2 medium zucchini (about 6 ounces each), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh mint or basil
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup blanched almonds
2 large garlic cloves, peeled
1 teaspoon coarse salt, plus additional to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 pound farfalle (bow tie pasta), cooked according to package directions until al dente, drained

Place the zucchini in a medium saucepan with salted water to cover; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Drain.

Place the mint, oil, almonds, garlic, salt, and pepper in a food processor fitted with the knife blade; process until smooth. Add about three-fourths of the drained zucchini and process until pureed but still slightly chunky.

Place the hot cooked pasta in a large bowl and add the zucchini puree and remaining zucchini; toss well to thoroughly combine. Serve warm or at room temperature.

5 to 6 main-dish servings, or 8 pasta-course servings

Per serving: 490 Calories, 14g protein, 16g Total Fat, 2g Sat. Fat, 0mg Cholesterol, 72g Carbohydrate, 4g Dietary Fiber, 388mg Sodium

Rotelle with Roasted Grape Tomatoes and Basil

Sometimes a few simple ingredients combine to become a really great dish, and this is one of those recipes. Roasting the tomatoes concentrates their flavor, and when combined with other Italian staples it makes for a delicious meal.

Rotelle with Roasted Grape Tomatoes and Basil
Vegan Italiano, Donna Klein

2 pints (4 cups) grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon coarse coarse salt, plus additional to taste, if necessary
8 ounces rotelle, fusilli, or other spiral-shaped pasta
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces
2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 250F. Line a large baking sheet with sides with parchment paper.

Arrange the tomatoes, cut sides up, in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the oil and sprinkle with the salt. Bake in the center of the oven until the tomatoes are dried around the edges but still moist, about 1 1/2 hours (cherry tomatoes will take longer).

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large stockpot in boiling salted water according to package directions until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid, then drain well. Return to the pot and add the tomatoes, reserved cooking liquid, basil, remaining oil, garlic, pepper, and salt, if necessary; toss well to thoroughly combine. Serve warm.

3 to 4 servings