Yum: Buttery Beet Pasta with Warm Spices

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You guys. I’m kinda proud of this one. I tried something weird and new and it actually worked! Deliciously! See more about this unusually spiced, comforting dish after the jump!

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This is my haul from my first ever visit to the Hollywood Farmers Market, which is amazing and a 15-minute walk from my house. So why did it take me 8 months to actually go? Because the truth is that I love the idea of farmer’s markets, but I don’t actually love going to them. It’s hard to tell when I’m getting a good price or what’s organic (or better than organic). It’s crowded and hot. I have to talk to actual humans. If I have a recipe in mind, I usually have to go to the grocery store anyway. But the biggest reason is that all that diverse, fresh product is overwhelming and I feel like a failure if I don’t come home with a huge bag of all the right stuff.

So clearly I have my own issues to deal with and one day I might learn to really love farmer’s markets.

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But anyway back to the beets. I always used to roast beets because I didn’t know any other way, but turns out you can treat them like any root vegetable. I just peeled and sliced them and sauteed them with butter and oil and fragrant spices. Like cumin and cinnamon and nutmeg.

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I threw in the beet greens, too, and the result is warm, tender, flavorful beets vaguely reminiscent of thanksgiving sweet potatoes. I tossed mine with whole-wheat spaghetti for a luxuriously comforting dish, but you could use farro or rice or barley or polenta or toast (you get the picture). You could even serve this as a side dish or on top of a hearty salad.

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Buttery Beet Pasta with Warm Spices

Ingredients:
5 medium golden beets (with greens tops attached)
3 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 pound whole wheat spaghetti
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Directions:

1. Trim tops and root ends from the beets and peel them using a vegetable peeler. Cut beets into small pieces about 1/8 inch thick. Rinse beet greens carefully and cut into thick ribbons.

2. Heat the butter in a sautee pan over medium high heat, then add the chopped onion and cook until translucent. Add the chopped beets, then the spices, salt and pepper and cook for a few minutes more. Next, add the beet greens and chicken stock and cover the pan. Lower the heat to medium and cook for about 15 minutes or until the beets are tender.

3. Meanwhile, cook the whole wheat spaghetti in generously salted water according to package instructions. Drain the pasta, reserving a cup of the salty pasta cooking water.

4. When the beets are tender, add the pasta to the sautee pan, along with about 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Toss the spaghetti around and cook a few minutes more, or until the pasta is lightly coated. Add more pasta water if necessary. Finally, mix in the parmesan and more salt and pepper to taste.

 

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