The best of the summer is over and I am now starting to look to the more hardy of vegetables in the garden. Beetroot has long been one of my favourite veggies, not only for it’s deep earthy flavour, but also it’s rich maroon colour. You can use pre-cooked beetroot in natural juices for a quick supper or better still, roast baby beetroot in the oven at 200c/180c fan-forced for up 45-50 minutes until charred and tender, adding an extra depth of flavour to this colourful dish.
Autumn pasta with beetroot, goat cheese and toasted pecans
4 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, sliced
500 g pre-cooked beetroot
400 g fusilli or other dried pasta
200 g goat feta or goat cheese, crumbled
60 g pecan nuts, toasted and roughly chopped
2 tbs chopped fresh parsley
a handful rocket leaves, to serve
grated Pecorino, to serve
Heat the oil in a frying pan and gently fry the onions and garlic for 10 minutes until golden but not browned. Add the beetroot and cook gently for 3 minutes until heated through. Season to taste.
Meanwhile, plunge the pasta into a large bowl of lightly salted boiling water, return to the boil and cook for 10-12 minutes until al dente. Drain pasta and add 4 tablespoons of the cooking liquid to the beetroot.
Spoon the pasta into bowls and serve topped with the beetroot, goat cheese, pecans and parsley. Drizzle over a little more oil and serve with grated Pecornio.
Tip: You should be able to find ready cooked beetroot in natural juices in your local green grocer or supermarket. Alternatively buy raw beetroot and roast in the oven for about 45 mins. Peel and dice.