Cooking beets until super tender is the key to this bright, colorful, and earthy pasta sauce. Reach for fresh raw beets with the greens attached instead of the vacuum packed pre-cooked ones to achieve the brightest sauce. Pureeing the beets with miso, a fermented condiment made from soybeans and sometimes rice and other grains, adds a boost to your gut health thanks to good-for-you probiotics. The sauce gets its cheesy flavor from nutritional yeast, which makes this easy pasta recipe vegan! Swap regular pasta for a whole-grain option such as kamut, farro, or whole wheat. Or opt to make it gluten-free with brown rice pasta.
½ cup hazelnuts
2 medium beets with greens attached
8 ounces brown rice pasta, whole-wheat pasta, kamut pasta, or farro pasta
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, chopped
⅛ teaspoon black pepper
¾ teaspoon fine sea salt, divided
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
1 teaspoon white miso
lemon wedges, for serving
Sat fat 2g
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread hazelnuts in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast in preheated oven until golden and fragrant, 15 to 18 minutes. Allow to cool 10 minutes. Place nuts on a clean towel; rub together to loosen skins. Remove nuts from towel (discarding skins); coarsely chop. Set aside.
While nuts toast, bring a large stockpot of salted water to a boil over high. Remove greens from beets, and reserve. Peel beets, and cut into 1-inch pieces. Add beets to boiling water; cook until tender when pierced with a fork, 18 to 20 minutes. Remove beets with a slotted spoon (reserving cooking water in stockpot); transfer to a food processor.
Return water in stockpot to a boil over high heat. Add pasta; prepare according to package directions. Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup cooking water. Set aside.
While pasta cooks, remove and discard ribs from beet greens; chop leaves. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium. Add garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 1 minute. Add beet greens, pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt; cook, stirring often, until wilted, about 3 minutes. Set aside.
Add nutritional yeast, lemon zest, miso, 3/4 cup of the reserved cooking water, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt to beets in food processor. Process until smooth, about 30 seconds. (Add up to remaining 1/4 cup reserved cooking water to thin out sauce, if desired.) Transfer mixture to a large bowl; add pasta and beet greens mixture, and toss to coat. Divide pasta evenly among 4 bowls; sprinkle with chopped nuts. Serve warm or at room temperature with lemon wedges.
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