Penne with Double Beets

Penne with Double Beets

While bunches of beet greens are sold on their own, it’s more likely you’ll find these sweet, earthy greens attached to the beets themselves. Look for bunches with bright, crisp leaves.

1 bunch fresh beets with greens attached
1/4 cup (60 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
10 oz (300 g) whole wheat penne pasta
1 shallot, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
Sea salt to taste
1/4 cup (60 mL) balsamic vinegar
1 tsp (5 mL) grated orange peel
1/2 cup (125 mL) fresh ricotta cheese

Trim stems from beets, but leave about 1/2 in (1.25 cm) still attached (this prevents loss of colour and nutrients during cooking).

Place beets on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Lightly coat with 1/2 tsp (2 mL) oil. Roast in preheated 400 F (200 C) oven until tender, about 40 to 50 minutes. When cool enough to handle, peel skins. Chop beets into small pieces.

While beets are roasting, wash beet greens well. Coarsely chop leaves and stems, then set aside.

In large pot, boil pasta until al dente, about 8 minutes.

Meanwhile heat remaining oil in large frying pan set over medium heat. Add shallot, garlic, and salt. Stir until softened, 4 to 6 minutes, then add beet leaves and stems. Stir until wilted, then stir in beets, vinegar, and orange peel. Simmer to blend flavours, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

Before draining pasta, ladle out 1/2 cup (125 mL) water. Drain noodles, then return to pot. Add beet mixture; stir to coat evenly. If necessary, add some of the pasta water to make it saucier. Crumble ricotta over top.

Serves 4.

Each serving contains: 318 calories; 11 g protein; 17 g total fat (4 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 35 g carbohydrates; 7 g fibre; 258 mg sodium

source: “Think Green“, alive #341, March 2011

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