Pasta with Creamy Beet Sauce, Walnuts, and Parmesan

pasta with beet sauce

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 to 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.

4.71 from 17 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)

 

Comments

02.12.2018 at7:49 AM #

Pamela Prime

This looks so delicious and beautiful! Can’t wait to make it! 💚

02.12.2018 at7:49 AM #

katiemorford

It’s a fun one to do if you have company coming because it’s such a dramatic color. Just be sure to assemble it right before serving because it doesn’t like to sit.

02.12.2018 at8:42 AM #

Patti Stadlin

Looks like we have found our Valentines Day Dish! Cant wait to give it a try!

Patti (and Sarah)

02.12.2018 at8:42 AM #

katiemorford

I hope Sarah loves it as much as I do.

02.12.2018 at9:33 AM #

Jessica Levinson, MS, RDN, CDN

This looks delicious! I was planning to make my roasted red pepper and tomato pasta tonight, but change of plans now that I saw this!

02.12.2018 at9:33 AM #

katiemorford

Hope your sweet girls are wowed by the hot pink!

03.11.2018 at9:45 AM #

Kristen Daniel

This was outstanding. Creamy and delicious. A keeper! Had a lot of extra sauce…maybe my beet was really big!

03.11.2018 at9:45 AM #

katiemorford

So glad you liked it! Hope you were able to make use of the extras.

02.12.2019 at9:17 PM #

Mary Ellen

Made tonight as a pre Valentine’s meal and got high marks from the whole fam! The consistency of the sauce was smooth and moist and the walnuts were a great addition. Yum!!

02.12.2019 at9:17 PM #

katiemorford

Wow…so glad it was a hit all around. That makes my day 🙂

02.17.2019 at10:41 PM #

Laura Thomas

Made beet Malfatti but beet flavor got lost with the flour so this will boost the beet a beat! Thank you.!

02.17.2019 at10:41 PM #

katiemorford

Beet on beet…sounds delicious!

11.01.2019 at1:13 AM #

Sophie

making this with a couple of friends for a year 10 ready steady cook competition, it’s so far going to get us good marks. Creative, colorful, difficulty level is up for us as we’re making our own pasta and incorporating beets to it.

11.01.2019 at1:13 AM #

katiemorford

I’m honored! Good luck to you.

02.17.2020 at8:07 PM #

Rimmy

Delicious, we made it with coconut milk instead of the cream and it gave it a wonderful flavour We will make it again.

02.17.2020 at8:07 PM #

katiemorford

Great! So you used the coconut milk in place of ricotta? I’ll have to try that. Thanks for the comment.

02.19.2020 at7:03 PM #

Richard Tunner

I’LL try it, Amy!! Mostly because it looks YUMMY! But also because you’re pretty groovy.

04.16.2020 at12:16 AM #

Roger

That’s really delicious recipe, It makes me starving right now. I have to try this for my family tonight. Thanks for sharing!

04.20.2020 at3:14 PM #

Alex Levy

Sorry I usually hate posting bad reviews, but this was REALLY bad. The sauce just tasted sweet and there was no complexity of flavors whatsoever. No spices? And there was way too much of the sauce as well to the point that the pasta just drowned in it. It was a soupy, inedible mess. Really disappointed and upset.

04.20.2020 at3:14 PM #

katiemorford

Sorry to hear that, Alex.

05.22.2020 at6:33 PM #

Lynne Almeida

Just made this with a few mod’s … used precooked beets that I had on hand, left out salt for my reduced sodium diet … there’s plenty in the cheeses! Added a clove of garlic and black pepper, and subbed a mixture of raw, unsalted chopped seeds and nuts for the walnuts. We really liked it … and the ‘base’ flavors are tame enough that you could make all kinds of variations. Will make again!

05.22.2020 at6:33 PM #

katiemorford

Thanks for sharing all your riffs on the recipe!

06.16.2020 at7:49 PM #

Gabriel

Wow, this looks so delicious – I just love the colour, it’s fantastic!

08.11.2020 at6:23 PM #

James

Wow, this looks so delicious – I just love the colour, it’s fantastic!

08.12.2020 at12:28 AM #

Melissa

Delicious I made it with coconut milk instead of the cream and it gave it a wonderful flavour. I will make it again.

08.12.2020 at2:38 AM #

Elizabeth

Beet pesto? ROASTED beet pesto?? Oh. My. Gosh. Where little odd one doesn’t like beets (or does her man), her daddy and I LUV the things. So, I need to make this pronto-tonto. I have a long list of things to make when you come to live with us. Starting with pimento cheese. 🙂
Thank you!

10.05.2020 at3:16 PM #

Pam Ella

This was seriously one of the most delicious things I’ve ever eaten!!! AND THE COLOR! It was fantastic! Thanks for a great new way to use up my beets!

10.05.2020 at3:16 PM #

katiemorford

Oh my goodness, that is music to my ears. Thanks for sharing your feedback!

06.08.2021 at9:16 PM #

Reichel Wellswim

Hi,
I tried this recipe at home yesterday, and it turned out to be really delicious..
Thank you so much for such a yummy recipe.
Gonna save this and will share with others.
Keep sharing 🙂

06.08.2021 at9:16 PM #

katiemorford

Terrific!

06.09.2021 at8:32 PM #

Reichel Wellswim

Such a beautiful pasta! Love it!

06.09.2021 at8:32 PM #

katiemorford

Yay! The color is really pretty.

11.20.2021 at6:58 PM #

Alyson

This was fantastic! It’s my new fav pasta sauce. I didn’t have ricotta on hand and used goat cheese, which worked beautifully. I also likes a little extra squirt of lemon on top. Mint shouldn’t be optional. I am thinking sautéed leeks on top next time. Thank you!

11.20.2021 at6:58 PM #

katiemorford

So glad you enjoyed it. Love all your ideas!

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