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Rosy Beet Spaghettini with Toasted Walnuts, Crumbled Blue Cheese, and Crisped Sage

Serves 4.

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    Rosy Beet Spaghettini with Toasted Walnuts, Crumbled Blue Cheese, and Crisped Sage

    This beautiful dish is delicious as a standalone meal, but it also doubles as an impressive side. The deep red beet sauce is supremely good for heart health. And making matters easier is the fact that, if scrubbed well, you don’t need to peel the beetroots. Roasting softens the skin, which is then whirled into creamy perfection. There are loads of options for toppings, ranging from any variety of cheese (or none at all) to a wide assortment of toasted nuts.

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    Tip

    This delicious rosy sauce can be served tossed with any type of grain from rice to pearl couscous. Top with shaved Parmesan, if you wish. Scatter baby arugula leaves overtop for an added punch of flavour.

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    Rosy Beet Spaghettini with Toasted Walnuts, Crumbled Blue Cheese, and Crisped Sage

    Ingredients

    • 3 large unpeeled red beetroots, about 1 1/2 lbs (750 g)
    • 4 large garlic cloves, peeled
    • 8 fresh sage leaves, divided
    • 3/4 cup (180 mL) water, divided
    • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) good quality balsamic vinegar
    • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) sea salt, plus extra
    • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) freshly ground black pepper, plus extra
    • 1 lb (450 g) pkg spaghettini
    • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra
    • 1/2 fennel bulb, finely diced, fronds reserved
    • 1/4 cup (60 mL) crumbled blue cheese or feta
    • 1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped walnuts, toasted
    • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

    Nutrition

    Per serving:

    • calories587
    • protein20g
    • fat12g
      • saturated fat3g
      • trans fat0g
    • carbohydrates100g
      • sugars12g
      • fibre7g
    • sodium501mg

    Directions

    01

    Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C). Scrub beetroots thoroughly and cut into quarters. Place in ovenproof saucepan with tight-fitting lid. Add garlic, 4 sage leaves, and 1/4 cup (60 mL) water to pot. Cover tightly and bake in oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until beetroot wedges are very tender when pierced. Remove from oven and, with slotted spoon, remove beetroot to separate bowl to slightly cool. No need to peel.

    02

    In high-speed blender, place beetroot wedges along with baked sage leaves and roasted garlic. Add 1/2 cup (125 mL) water, balsamic vinegar, sea salt, and pepper and pulse until mixture is creamy and thick enough to coat cooked pasta evenly. Add a splash more water if mixture appears too thick.

    03

    Fill large saucepan with water and add generous pinch of salt. Bring to a boil. Stir in spaghettini, and cook until al dente, about 6 minutes.

    04

    While spaghettini cooks, heat oil in skillet. Add diced fennel and gently sauteu0301 over medium heat for 5 minutes, or until pale golden. Transfer to plate. In skillet, add a splash more oil, if needed, and place remaining sage leaves. Fry until crisp but not darkened. Set aside.

    05

    Drain spaghettini well and return to saucepan. Pour beet sauce overtop and gently fold together to evenly coat until beautifully rosy coloured. Gently stir over low heat until warm.

    06

    Serve warm in shallow bowls. Scatter diced fennel overtop. Top with crumbled cheese and toasted walnuts. Garnish with fennel fronds and add a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes. Drizzle with a little extra balsamic and a splash of olive oil, if you wish, and serve piping hot.

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    This recipe is part of the Heartfelt Foods collection.

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