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Beets and Pasta

2 pounds small red or golden beets, scrubbed well

1 clove garlic, minced

¼ cup fresh orange juice

2TBs ground coriander

Coarse salt and ground pepper

1 pound gemelli, or other short pasta

6 ounces blue cheese, crumbled

 

Preheat oven to 400. Place beets in a 9 by 13 inch baking dish; add ½ cup water. Seal dish tightly with foil. Bake beets until tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp paring knife, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Let cool 10 minutes. Using a paper towel, rub off skins. Slice beets into wedges. In a large bowl, toss beets with garlic, orange juice, oil and coriander, season with salt and pepper. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente according to package instructions. Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup of cooking water. Return pasta to the pot; toss with half of the blue cheese and enough reserved pasta water to coat pasta. Season with salt and pepper. Divide the pasta mixture among plates; top with beets and remaining blue cheese. Serve immediately. Serves 6.