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Spaghetti Di Vino With Beets


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Serves 4 | Prep Time 20 | Cook Time 50

Ingredients

3 medium red or yellow beets, with 1 inch of stems still on, reserve greens
8 ounces spaghetti
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large sweet onion, finely chopped
2 cups finely sliced beet greens
4 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup Merlot or other full-bodied, plummy red wine (with medium tannins)
1/4 cup dried currants
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, or to taste
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
Freshly ground pepper and crumbled feta cheese or fresh white goat cheese (chèvre) for garnish


This recipe is an adaptation of a traditional Italian pasta dish. It's simple and pretty ... in a word, divine! For the best flavor, use butter in addition to the olive oil if your wine is tannic.


Recipe by Paulette Mitchell, a culinary instructor, television personality, spokesperson, and the award-winning author of 12 cookbooks.


3 medium red or yellow beets, with 1 inch of stems still on, reserve greens


8 ounces spaghetti


2 tablespoons olive oil


1 large sweet onion, finely chopped


2 cups finely sliced beet greens


4 cloves garlic, minced


¾ cup Merlot or other full-bodied, plummy red wine (with medium tannins)


¼ cup dried currants


½ teaspoon salt, or to taste


½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, or to taste


2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


¼ cup toasted pine nuts


Freshly ground pepper and crumbled feta cheese or fresh white goat cheese (chèvre) for garnish


Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the beets and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until the beets can be pierced with a knife, about 30 to 45 minutes. (Or, place the beets in a microwaveable dish with about ¼ cup salted water; cover with a lid or plastic wrap. Microwave on high power for 8 minutes or until thoroughly cooked, turning the beets at 2-minute intervals.)


When the beets are cool enough to handle, remove the skins. Cut the beets into 2-inch x ¼-inch strips.


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the spaghetti 2 to 3 minutes less than package directions. (The pasta should be slightly undercooked but not crunchy


While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the beet greens and garlic; stir constantly until the greens are wilted, about 1 minute.


Stir in the beets, wine, currants, salt, and pepper; cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes. The wine should be reduced but not totally evaporated. Stir in the lemon juice.


When the pasta cooked according to the above instructions, drain well. Return to the pot. Add the beet mixture. Stir over medium heat until the spaghetti absorbs the wine and turns red. Remove from the heat. Add the pine nuts; toss again. Taste and adjust the seasoning. (Remember that the feta cheese garnish will add saltiness.)


Garnish the servings with pepper and feta or chèvre cheese.


Tips


Choose firm, evenly shaped, smooth-skinned, small to medium beets; oversized ones may be woody. It's best if the greens are attached; they should be bright green with no signs of wilting. As soon as you bring the beets home, cut off the tops, leaving about 1 inch of the stem attached to the beet. Refrigerate the beets, unwashed, in a plastic bag for up to 2 weeks.


To prepare the beets for cooking, leave 1 inch of the stems and the root ends intact. Scrub well, taking care not to break the skin; beets lose color and nutrients if the skin breaks. After cooking, let the beets cool enough to handle and then rub off the skins under running water or remove with a paring knife. To avoid staining your hands, wear disposable plastic gloves; also protect the cutting board with plastic wrap or waxed paper.


Prep Time: 20 minutes


Cook Time: 50 minutes


Servings: 4


Pairs Well With


Notes

This recipe is an adaptation of a traditional Italian pasta dish. It's simple and pretty ... in a word, divine! For the best flavor, use butter in addition to the olive oil if your wine is tannic.

Recipe by Paulette Mitchell, a culinary instructor, television personality, spokesperson, and the award-winning author of 12 cookbooks.

Tips:

Choose firm, evenly shaped, smooth-skinned, small to medium beets; oversized ones may be woody. It's best if the greens are attached; they should be bright green with no signs of wilting. As soon as you bring the beets home, cut off the tops, leaving about 1 inch of the stem attached to the beet. Refrigerate the beets, unwashed, in a plastic bag for up to 2 weeks.

To prepare the beets for cooking, leave 1 inch of the stems and the root ends intact. Scrub well, taking care not to break the skin; beets lose color and nutrients if the skin breaks. After cooking, let the beets cool enough to handle and then rub off the skins under running water or remove with a paring knife. To avoid staining your hands, wear disposable plastic gloves; also protect the cutting board with plastic wrap or waxed paper.

MMMMMM! I LOVE beets & beet greens! It'll be late August before we have fresh ones here, but I'm saving this recipe to try then. Thanks, DeWanda!

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