Pasta in beetroot sauce

Trying new recipes became a fancy habit during this lockdown season. My love for pasta and a dearth of tomatoes one fine evening (also running out of cheese) made me try out this unusual recipe.

I was craving pasta one evening, and upon exploring the kitchen I found one large beetroot in the fridge, about 2 cups of pasta, a couple of baby tomatoes, some leftover boiled corn and half a capsicum. So it was either a new kind of pasta or no pasta. Of course, I chose the former option!

Try out this unusually healthy pasta and let me know how you liked it.

Ingredients (serves 2)

Chopped beetroot – 1cup
Chopped onion – 1/2 cup
Crushed garlic – 1tsp
Ginger – 1tsp
Chopped tomatoes – 1tbsp
Pasta – 2 cup
Sweet corn (boiled) – 2 tbsp
Chopped capsicum – 2 tbsp
Lemon juice – 2 tsp
Chilli flakes – 1tsp
Mixed herbs – 1tsp
Olive oil
Cold milk
Fresh mint leaves
Salt and pepper

Method

  • Add olive oil in a pan, then some garlic and turn on the heat
  • After about 30 seconds add the onions, ginger and stir them together
  • Add the chopped beetroot and sprinkle a considerable amount of salt and cover with a lid to let it all cook
  • Then add the tomatoes, and 2 tsp of lemon juice and cook until it softens
  • Let it cool for about 30 mins
  • Boil a large pan of water and add 2 tsp oil, 2 tsp salt before adding the pasta and let it cook for about 5-7 minutes.
  • Then put the cooked vegetables, 2tbsp cold milk and about 4-5 mint leaves in a blender and blend till a smooth paste is formed. Add a little starch water from the paste if needed.
  • Now, in a pan heat some butter and saute the capsicum
  • Transfer the beetroot sauce in the pan, add freshly crushed pepper and stir
  • Add the corns, herbs and chilli flakes and stir for a minute
  • Fish out the al dente pasta form the boiling water and add it to the sauce
  • Fold them in together and serve hot.

Things to note

  • Cook the entire dish in medium flame.
  • DO NOT wash the pasta after boiling them. Once it is done, simply turn off the heat, drain it, and keep aside some of the water which can be later added to the sauce for better flavour. Washing the pasta causes it to lose the starch coating, which will not allow the sauce to stick to it.
  • The trick of checking if your pasta is cooked to perfection is to see if it’s al dente. Just like you check with rice, by pressing onto a grain to see if it’s cooked all the way through, the process of checking pasta is somewhat similar. You have to check if the pasta has a firm bite to it(i.e. it should be slightly undercooked, you’ll be cooking it with the sauce again so it won’t be raw), only then you will drain it and immediately transfer it to the sauce. Getting the pasta soft already will ruin it as it is delicate, and upon turning it with the sauce it’ll break.
  • Beetroot is rather sweet, therefore to reduce the sweetness i used relatively high amount of salt, chilli flakes and crush pepper corns.

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