Saturday, March 21, 2009


M & J's famous purple pasta (recipe in the comments)

Hot tea
You'll note that this recipe is all M & J, not inspired by anyone. That's not strictly true, but the story is complex enough that I couldn't put it all in the title. While Ten Dinners? was offline last fall, M and I tried a recipe for Sweet and Creamy Red Beet Pasta that sounded FANTASTIC. It was sauteed beets, basil, and garlic tossed with pasta and goat cheese. How could this be bad? Well, it was. It ended up being flavorless, the beets were dull, and it was way too goat cheese-y. So it was just like a dry-ish ball of goat cheese and pasta with red pieces in it. Sigh. Anyway, while we were unimpressed with the original, both of us felt the idea of a beet pasta was too good to abandon after one failed effort. Anyway, this is our own attempt. It's inspired by the unsuccessful aforementioned Sweet and Creamy Red Beet Pasta, but the technique is from our amazing Moosewood Cooks At Home recipe for Pasta Fresca, made with fresh tomatoes. Here, the beets are pureed with raw garlic and lots of basil, with just a bit of lemon juice and olive oil. The result is rich and earthy (like beets should be), but with the brightness lent by the garlic, basil, and lemon. The color is a dream. You toss it with hot pasta and a bit of goat cheese (not much!) for an amazing result. Good job M and J, good job.

Prep Notes
Difficulty: Super easy
Chopping: Nothing, but you do need a Cuisinart or blender.
Time: 25 minutes
Make ahead: Make the sauce whenever and toss with hot pasta and cheese just before serving.

J: "Success! Our beet pasta wins a blue ribbon!"
M: "Can't beet this!"

1 comment:

J said...

M & J’s Famous Purple Pasta - M & J
Serves 3-4

1 lb chunky pasta, preferably some sort of spiral shape
3 large garlic cloves, peeled
12 large basil leaves, plus a few leaves, minced (optional, for garnish)
1 can beets (not pickled), reserve 1 T juice
1 T lemon juice, plus more to taste
1 T extra virgin olive oil
½ t salt
¼ t pepper
̃ 2 T goat cheese
Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta until done, reserve about ½ cup pasta water, drain, and return to pan.

Meanwhile, puree beets, 12 leaves of basil, garlic, lemon and olive oil until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Toss hot pasta with goat cheese over very low heat. Mix until completely blended. Add sauce and mix well. Thin to desired moisture level with reserved pasta water. Taste again for lemon, salt, and pepper.

Serve with grated Parmesan and minced basil on top. Sprinkle with extra lemon juice or red wine vinegar at the table.