Tagliatelle with Beets, Ricotta & Pistachios

I am loving all these fresh beets at the farmers' markets. I don't think I have ever been so excited about a vegetable, or a root if you want, as I am for beets at the moment. It might be because of their beautiful color in this dreadful cold and grey weather, who knows, but I am taking advantage of them being in season and am again playing with them in an unexpected way. 

When making this dish, I told myself that it doesn't have to taste good, it will be fulfilling enough just to look at it. But oh boy, it was good! On many levels. Or maybe I was under the influence of those spectacular colors? I don't know any more. All I know is that it was a pleasure to eat it and I will definitely be making it again. 

Ingredients (2 people):
  • 112g / 1/4lb Tagliatelle
  • 1/2 cup ricotta 
  • 250g / 1/2lb beets 
  • 1/4 cup cashews
  • 1/8 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar 
  • 1/8 cup chopped pistachios
  • unsalted butter
  • salt and pepper to taste 

Soak cashews in cold water for at least 2 hours.

In a small bowl, whisk ricotta and lemon zest together until fluffy, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

In a large frying pan over medium heat, melt 2 - 3 tablespoons of butter and cook until brown (watch carefully that it doesn't burn). In the meantime, peel the beets and grate on a coarse grater. When the butter is brown, stir in the beets and season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook until beets are tender (about 10 minutes). Take off the heat and let it cool for about 5 minutes. Place the beets in a food processor, add cashews and vinegar and blend well. Add more salt and pepper if needed.

Cook the pasta according to the packaging.

Drain the pasta reserving a little cooking water on the bottom of the pan. Add 1 tablespoon of butter and toss. Stir in the beet mixture and ricotta and toss to coat the pasta. Serve with sprinkling of chopped pistachios. You can also reserve some ricotta and place a dollop on top of the pasta.



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