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
Serves 4-6 | 30 minutes | Inspired by A Spicy Perspective
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
Colander (spaghetti strainer)
Container of canned food (to smash the garlic)
Grown-up chef's knife
Liquid measuring cup
Large serving bowl
Microplane or cheese grater
**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.
**Grown-up**: Get out the food processor, secure the lid but open the chute at the top.
Add 3 beets down the chute of the food processor.
Measure 1/2 cup of nuts (pistachio, almond, or walnut), and add to the food processor.
**Grown-up**: Cut chunk of parmesan (about an inch long), add to food processor. (Or measure 1/3 cup of pre-grated parmesan)
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.
**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.
Using same measuring cup, measure 1/4 cup of olive oil.
**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.
**Grown-up**: When the pasta is finished cooking, drain. Pour it into a large serving bowl.
**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.
**Grown-up or careful kid**: Use the microplane or cheese grater to grate a heap of cheese on top of the pasta
Did you know that food processors can grate cheese for you when making pesto? No need to pre-grate.
Use your favorite raw nut in this recipe. Pistachio, walnut, and almonds are great (and probably others we haven't thought of too).
This can easily be made gluten-free with a quick swap to gluten-free pasta.
For a heartier meal, add protein like grilled chicken or shrimp.
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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