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Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and if you’re like me, you’re searching for something to cook. Something that says, “I love you.” Usually I conjure up images of Chateaubriand or Beef Wellington. Not this time. I’d recently picked up Clotilde Dusolier’s (of chocolateandzucchini.com) cookbook, The French Market Cookbook.

My eyes were immediately drawn to a recipe called Shocking Pink Pasta. The color immediately brought visions of Cupid and the many pink candies that overwhelm you as soon as you walk into any store. The secret ingredient? Beets. Just so happened that I bought two large beets from my farmers market. Of course, this was culinary karma at work. I was meant to make beet pasta.

I’ve made actual beet pasta before — adding roasted beets to the pasta dough. I prefer virgin pasta dough, though. This recipe called for a simple puree of fresh, raw beets. I switched it up a bit and roasted my beets first. The roasting process may have lessened the hue of the pink, but I love the sweetness that develops during the roasting process.

He loves it. He loves it not. He loves it. He loves it not. Hubby despises beets and in no way loved this dish. He’s requested that I do NOT make this for him on Valentine’s Day.  I, on the other hand, couldn’t get enough of this. I brought some to work to be sure I wasn’t being subjective. I was not. Those who like beets loved it. (And there were those, who couldn’t get past the vision of pink worms. C’est la vie.)

I made chocolate salted caramel mini-tarts as a sweet peace offering …

Pink Risotto up next … I’m testing how much hubby loves me.

beet pastaWhat you need:

  • 2 c roasted, chopped beets
  • 1 1/4 c whipping cream
  • 1/2 c organic chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tbs EVOO
  • 1/2 c sliced almonds
  • 2 c arugula
  • 4 oz ciliegine (mozzarella pearls)
  • 1 lb bucatini (hollow spaghetti)
  • Freshly ground sea salt and black pepper
  • Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, if desired

What you do:

  • In processor add beats, cream, broth and garlic.
  • Blend until smooth (as smooth as your process can manage)
  • Season with cumin, salt and pepper.
  • In sautepan, heat EVOO and add almonds.
  • Turn to toast sides.
  • Add arugula and flash saute – you don’t want wilted arugula.
  • Meanwhile, heat salted water in lg saucepan.
  • Add pasta and cook al dente.
  • Drain and return pasta to saucepan.
  • Add beet sauce, slowly, until pasta is covered.
  • Add arugula mixture and mozzarella.
  • Spoon into individual dishes and garnish with Parmigiano-Reggiano.