Spaghetti with Arugula Pesto, Golden Beets, Goat Cheese and Toasted Walnuts.
This spaghetti is a play on the delicious (if not a little tired and redundant!) Beet salad. You know the drill, it is on every menu in the world- A beet salad served on a bed of arugula with crumbled goat cheese and toasted walnuts. First of all- I am the person that always orders it! And it is there in the first place because it such an excellent combination of flavors and textures. But I thought that this pasta dish was a way to take the same flavors and make them new again.
The color of the pesto is a fantastic green (please follow the blanched pesto technique below) and golden beets are a beautiful bright yellow contrast. (I think the purple beets would be bleeding everywhere!) Add the creamy goat cheese and toasted walnuts for texture and flavor.
4 cups fresh arugula
1 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
Bring a small pot of slated water to a boil. Meanwhile prepare an ice bath (a bowl full of ice and water).
Plunge all of the arugula into the boiling water and leave it for about 10 seconds.
Using a slotted spoon or Chinese spider, immediately pull all of the arugula out of the boiling water and plunge it into the ice bath.
Put the garlic cloves, the juice of the lemon and the arugula into the jar of a blender. Add the olive oil.
Puree the pesto on high for about 2 minutes or until the pesto is very smooth and very bright green.
Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Spaghetti with Arugula Pesto, Golden Beets, Goat Cheese and Toasted Walnuts
4 Tbs finely chopped shallots
4 large golden beets, washed well and trimmed
2/3 cup crumbled goat cheese
1 cup toasted walnut halves and pieces
1 recipe of Arugula Pesto
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
While you are waiting for the water to boil, cut the beets into ¼” pieces. Set aside.
Ina large sauté pan, add the 2 Tbs of olive oil, and heat over medium. Add the shallots and sweat until tender.
Add the beets to the shallots and the oil, stirring to coat the beets with the oil.
Add the spaghetti to the boiling water.
While the pasta is cooking, pour ½ cup of water into the beets and let them simmer for the full 10 minutes. Add Kosher salt to taste.
Drain the spaghetti. In a bowl or the pasta pot, add the pesto to the spaghetti and toss to coat.
Place the pasta on a platter and spoon the golden beets over the top of the spaghetti. Sprinkle the goat cheese over the top of the beets and the spaghetti and then add the toasted walnuts.
Serve hot! Enjoy!