Beet-utiful Beet Pesto Pasta

B-is-for-beet | Beet-Pesto-Pasta | Nomster Chef

Getting tired of your go to go-to spaghetti sauce and wondering how you can up the nutrition factor of pasta? Well you can't beet this recipe! (see what I did there?)

Beet Pesto Pasta is a twist on the classic green pesto, replacing basil with beets. Beets have a number of health benefits including being a wonderful source of fiber. But more importantly, they give your pasta a beet-utiful color and a different taste than usual. If you're trying to "eat the rainbow," these definitely check red off the list!

If you make this recipe, take a photo and tag us on Instagram or Facebook. We'd love to see your beet-icious creations.


Beet-Pesto-Pasta | Nomster chef

BEET PESTO PASTA

Serves 4-6 | 30 minutes | Inspired by A Spicy Perspective

COLLECT INGREDIENTS

  • 3 beets (to cut down on steps, we recommend pre-steamed and peeled baby beets like these from Trader Joes or these by Love Beets brand (found at many grocery stores)

  • 1/2 cup raw pistachios, almonds, or walnuts

  • 1-2 oz whole parmesan cheese (about 1" cut from a whole piece of parmesan, no need to grate; or 1/3 a cup of grated parmesan cheese); plus more for serving

  • 1 pound whole wheat spaghetti (we love fusilli because of its fun spiral shape)

  • 3 cloves garlic

  • 1/4 cup lemon juice

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • salt

COLLECT TOOLS

  • Medium pot
  • Colander (spaghetti strainer)
  • Food processor
  • Container of canned food (to smash the garlic)
  • Grown-up chef's knife
  • Liquid measuring cup
  • Serving spoon
  • Large serving bowl
  • Microplane or cheese grater

PREP

  1. **Grown-up**: Place a medium pot of salted water on the stove, bring to boil. When the pasta comes to a boil, add the pasta (1 lb, the whole box) and set a kitchen timer for whatever the package instructions suggest.

  2. **Grown-up**: Get out the food processor, secure the lid but open the chute at the top.

  3. Add 3 beets down the chute of the food processor.

  4. Measure 1/2 cup of nuts (pistachio, almond, or walnut), and add to the food processor.

  5. **Grown-up**: Cut chunk of parmesan (about an inch long), add to food processor. (Or measure 1/3 cup of pre-grated parmesan)

  6. Use a can of food (or other heavy object) to mash 3 cloves of garlic, take off the skin. Add the garlic cloves to the food processor.

  7. **Grown-up**: Cut lemon in half. **Kid**: Squeeze over a liquid measuring cup until you have 1/4 cup of lemon juice. Fish out any seeds that fell in! Pour into food processor.

  8. Using same measuring cup, measure 1/4 cup of olive oil.

  9. **Grown-up**: Make sure you cover the top chute. **Kid**: Turn on the food processor and turn it off when the pesto is smooth and there aren't big chunks of any ingredients.

  10. **Grown-up**: When the pasta is finished cooking, drain. Pour it into a large serving bowl.

  11. **Grown-up**: Take the blade out of the food processor. **Kid**: use the serving spoon to scoop the beet pesto into the pasta serving bowl. Mix together until all of the pasta turns red.

  12. **Grown-up or careful kid**: Use the microplane or cheese grater to grate a heap of cheese on top of the pasta

  13. Nom!

  14. Clean up!

PRO TIPS

  1. Did you know that food processors can grate cheese for you when making pesto? No need to pre-grate.
  2. Use your favorite raw nut in this recipe. Pistachio, walnut, and almonds are great (and probably others we haven't thought of too).
  3. This can easily be made gluten-free with a quick swap to gluten-free pasta.
  4. For a heartier meal, add protein like grilled chicken or shrimp.

Monica Meng

About the Author & Photographer

Monica is a former preschool teacher who loves whipping up healthy and gluten-free concoctions. She strives to eat vegan, but sometimes all she wants is steak frites.


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