Monday, March 14, 2011

Rigatoni with Roasted Beets, Spinach, and Goat Cheese

Growing up my memories of eating beets were centered on one annual occasion - Thanksgiving - when my grandma would open the can of the nasty jellied kind and plop 'em in a serving bowl. I never touched the things. Ever.

Those days are long gone, and within the past year I've eaten more beets than I can count. And they're not the canned kind. I've been roasting and peeling my own. It seems a bit intimidating, I know. But it's so simple. And beets really are good.

Of course, a certain someone I live with doesn't always feel the same way about this vegetable. So, what do I do? I add them to pasta, and suddenly all is great with the world.

I loved the combination of flavors in this meal. Roasted beets and goat cheese are always a favorite of mine, but the spinach and toasted walnuts were the perfect addition. A well-rounded web of textures, colors, and major healthiness. Nothin' better!

I challenge you all to try roasting your own beets. You'll find it's not that difficult. Just don't wear white when you're peeling them :)

Rigatoni with Roasted Beets, Spinach, and Goat Cheese
Recipe by A Toast to Taste
Photos by A Toast to Taste

Ingredients Needed:
3 large beets
1 Tbsp olive oil

1 lb whole wheat rigatoni
1/4 cup olive oil
1 lb raw spinach, washed
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped and toasted
4 oz goat cheese
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil to finish

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Scrub beets and cut off the greens about an inch from the stem. Next, drizzle the beets with olive oil and wrap in aluminum foil. Roast them directly on the oven rack for about an hour. Let them cool. Then, peel the skin and cut into chunks. Your hands will turn pink - wear gloves if you'd like to protect them.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook rigatoni according to directions on box.

While the pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in skillet. Add spinach and cook just until wilted, about 3 minutes. Add garlic during last minute. Drain pasta and add to skillet along with the beets. Give a good stir and turn out into serving bowl. Top with toasted walnuts, goat cheese, salt and pepper. If needed, add a drizzle of olive oil for more moisture.

Serve and Enjoy!

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