Waiting. It’s a part of parenting that nobody seemed to mention before I became a mother. And there’s an awful lot of it. Waiting in carpool lines and on soccer sidelines, waiting for bedtime when they’re toddlers and for kids make curfew when they’re teens, waiting in doctor’s offices, orthodontist offices, physical therapy offices and every imaginable type of office under the sun.

It took me a while to come to terms with all the waiting and it’s only been in the past few years that I’ve discovered something worthwhile to help pass the time: podcasts. I’ve got at least half a dozen loaded onto my phone to keep me company while I wait.

This brings me to today’s recipe, which I learned about on Radio Cherry Bomb, the podcast that played as I waited for my daughter to finish track practice last week. As the host and her guest waxed poetic about a pasta dish with beet sauce I went from being intrigued to being hungry to making a mental checklist of the ingredients I’d pick up on the way home:

beets

ricotta

lemons

pasta

walnuts

parmesan

Back in my kitchen with hungry teenagers afoot, I set to work. It came together with ease and the finished dish was so good, I ate much of it hovered over the bowl on the kitchen counter. I’ve made it two more times since then, tinkering with the recipe to simplify the method and shear off some of the saturated fat.

I’d venture to say that you don’t even have to be a beet lover to enjoy this. Consider, for example, my youngest daughter, who says, “beets give me the shivers”, yet polished off her plate at dinner and packed it into her lunch the next day. That’s a recipe worth waiting for.

5 from 3 votes
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Pasta with Creamy Beet Sauce, Walnuts, and Parmesan

The shocking pink of this pasta is a combination of tender beets and ricotta blended into a creamy sauce. The method is simple and the results, delicious. Chopped walnuts and Parmesan make a flavorful finish. 

Course Main Course
Prep Time 20 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 450 kcal
Author katiemorford

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces beets (a beet that's slightly larger than a baseball)
  • 12- ounces spaghetti, conventional or gluten-free
  • ¾ cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus salt for cooking the pasta water
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint (optional)

Instructions

  1. Scrub the beet or beets and put in a large pot. Cover with water by 1 to 2 inches. Bring to a boil and boil until tender enough to slide a knife into the center with ease (about 45 minutes for one 8-ounce beet). If the water drops below the beet, add more and bring to a boil again. Once tender, drain and set the beet aside until cool enough to handle.

  2. Cook the spaghetti in a large pot of lightly salted boiling water until al dente. Scoop up 1 cup of pasta cooking water and set aside. Drain.

  3. While the pasta cooks, use your thumbs to rub the skin off the beet(s). Cut into quarters and put in a blender. Once you’ve drained the pasta, add ¼ cup pasta cooking water to the blender along with the ricotta, olive oil, lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon salt and run until smooth.

  4. Transfer the pasta to a serving bowl or platter. Pour the sauce over the top and toss well. Drizzle on a little more pasta cooking water if it doesn’t look nice and glossy.
  5. Scatter the walnuts over the pasta and garnish with a light shower of Parmesan cheese and mint. Serve immediately with more Parmesan to pass at the table.

Adapted from the Pink Spaghetti with Beet & Ricotta Sauce recipe by Elletra Weidermann in the Cherry Bomb Cookbook (2017)

pasta with beet sauce