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


  • 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)


  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.