Pink Pesto Beet Pasta is a naturally bright pink pasta recipe made with balsamic roasted beets, beet greens and beetroot pesto.
And when served with heart shaped beets this stunning beet pasta sauce recipe is the perfect recipe for Valentine’s day!
Pink pasta recipe
I first served this vibrant pink pasta years ago as a simple Valentines day dinner meal. Simply pasta tossed in the liquid leftover from sauteing beets and beet greens. Topped with creamy crumbled goat cheese the beet pasta was a perfectly delicious simple pasta creation and I’ve been making some version of it for years, and have finally perfected it to share.
This is a different kind of pink pasta recipe than typical pink or rose pasta which are made with tomatoes or red peppers and cream. Instead this pink pasta recipe is a bright pink beet pasta made with beetroot pesto.
A simple roasted beet recipe that uses the whole beet, both the beetroot and the beet greens. Which is special because although there are a lot of beet recipes, finding beet greens recipes can be more difficult.
Along those same lines there are lots of recipes for heart shaped foods for Valentine’s day like heart shaped waffles, pancakes, pizza, cookies, cakes, pies, etc. But this heart shaped recipe is a little different than most Valentine’s day recipes.
It’s a savory pink pasta recipe with beets shaped like hearts. Because no one can resist the cuteness of heart shaped foods for Valentine’s day.
But if you’d prefer it to be a heartless pasta instead you can simply cut the beets into cubes instead.
This beet pasta tastes like the best beet and goat cheese salad.
This beet recipe has tang from the balsamic beets and fresh lemon juice. Creaminess from parmesan cheese and goat cheese. And the pink beet pesto lends the same nuttiness you’d expect from a traditional basil pesto recipe.
All the yummy – minus the lettuce + plus pasta.
Bite after bite this is a lip smacking beet pasta recipe that will have you asking for more.
- Beets with beet greens– 1 bunch (about 8 ounces) about 1 large baseball sized beet or 3 small beets
- Butter – salted or unsalted
- Garlic – sliced garlic to saute with the beets and fresh garlic for the beet pesto.
- Balsamic vinegar – or substitute apple cider vinegar, red wine vinegar, etc.
- Linguine – or substitute any other pasta – angel hair, spaghetti, fettuccine, rigatoni, ravioli, tagliatelle, penne, etc.
- Almonds – or substitute any other nut or seeds – walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, pine nuts, etc.
- Lemon – zested and juiced
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
Step by step instructions
- Wash beets and beet greens well, soaking in a bowl of cold water if needed to remove all the sandy soil. Then peel beets and cut into roughly ¼ inch thick slices. Using a small cookie cutter cut beets into hearts or any other shape, or simply rough-cut beets into cubes. Slice beet greens and stems into thin ribbons.
- Melt half the butter in a medium saucepan over medium low heat. Add thinly sliced garlic, beetroots, and a sprinkle of salt and black pepper.
- Sauté beets for several minutes until beets are starting to brown and soften.
- Then carefully add balsamic vinegar and a tablespoon of water, stir and cover to continue cooking until soft, about 5 minutes longer.
- When beets are fork tender remove from heat. Place beet hearts aside for later and pour remaining balsamic beets and liquid in a food processor or blender to make beet pesto. Add garlic cloves, almonds, parmesan cheese, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Pulse mixture until chopped then slowing drizzle in olive oil while blending until smooth and pesto like in texture. Season with salt and pepper to taste and transfer beet pesto to a storage container.
- Meanwhile cook pasta to al dente according to package directions. Reserving a cup of pasta water and set pasta aside for later.
- Return the saucepan used to sauté the beets to the stovetop over medium heat and add remaining butter. Add thinly sliced beet greens and stems to melted butter and season with salt and pepper. Sauté beet greens until greens are wilted, about 2-3 minutes.
- Once greens are wilted stir in beet pesto and thin the vibrant pink sauce with splashes pasta water as needed. You will most likely not need to use all the reserved pasta water.
- Add pasta in to the luscious vibrant pink sauce stirring to coat.
- Serve topped with crumbled goat cheese and more parmesan cheese.
What to serve with beet pasta
Serve beet pasta as a side dish or main dish. Garnish this beet recipe with a sprinkle of cheese or top with chopped nuts and fresh herbs like basil, parsley, dill or chives.
To turn beet pasta into a more substantial meal add crispy chickpeas, sauteed prawns, chicken, steak, etc.
If you have leftover beet pesto use the vibrant pink sauce as a sandwich spread, make beet toast for breakfast or use it as a dip for vegetables.
This pink beetroot pesto recipe makes about 1 ¼ cups of pesto sauce and yields enough for 4 large entree sized servings, or 8 small 1st course or side dish sized servings.
How to store
Beet pesto can be made ahead of time and stored refrigerated for up to 5 days before serving.
- 8 ounces beets with beet greens, 1 bunch
- 4 tablespoons butter divided
- 16 ounces pasta
- 2 cloves garlic thinly sliced
- 3 cloves garlic whole
- ½ cup almonds
- ⅓ cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 ounces goat cheese ¼ cup
- Peel beets and cut into roughly ¼ inch thick slices and cut into desired shapes and slice beet greens and stems into thin ribbons.
- Melt half the butter in saucepan over medium low heat. Add thinly sliced garlic, beetroots, and a sprinkle of salt and black pepper.
- Sauté beets for several minutes until beets are starting to brown and soften, about 5 minutes. Then carefully add balsamic vinegar and a tablespoon of water, stir and cover to continue cooking until soft, about 5 minutes longer.
- When beets are fork tender remove from heat. Place beet hearts aside for later and pour remaining balsamic beets and liquid in a food processor or blender. Add garlic cloves, almonds, parmesan cheese, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Pulse mixture until chopped then slowing drizzle in olive oil while blending until smooth and pesto like in texture. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Meanwhile place a large pot of salted water on high heat. When boiling add pasta and cook to al dente according to package directions. Reserving a cup of pasta water, drain pasta and set aside for later.
- Return the saucepan to medium heat and add remaining butter, beet greens and stems and salt and pepper. Sauté until greens are wilted, about 2-3 minutes.
- Reduce heat to low and stir in beet pesto, thinning with pasta water as needed. Stir in pasta and top with crumbled goat cheese and more parmesan cheese before serving.
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