SHOCKING PASTA WITH BEETS AND GARLIC
I'd place this on the All-Time Hit Parade of great pastas, though I know it's not for everyone. I first had it with Richard Mintz, a former guest of ours who had worked on the Little Rock-based presidential campaign of another former guest of ours. When that former guest did in fact become president in 1993, both Richard and B.C. moved to Washington, and Richard headed up the press office for the inaugural team. When I arrived on a book tour, Richard insisted on taking me out to dinner.
Richard took me to an Italian restaurant called I Matti. (No reservation. No trouble getting a table, though a free one didn't appear to exist when we walked in. Waitstaff and maitr d' were highly solicitous.) And I was delighted with the garlicky, shocking pink beet sauce I Matti served over bow-tie pasta. I'm sure their version was fancier, but I've made this simple one ever since and enjoyed it.
Serves 3 or 4
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8 ounces bow-tie pasta
3 to 4 medium beets, cooked or roasted, warm, skins slipped off, quartered
4 to 5 cloves garlic, pressed
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Freshly grated Parmesan or soy Parmesan-style flakes (optional)
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and drop in the pasta. Cook until done.|
|2.||As the pasta cooks, place the beets in a food processor with the garlic,
oil, salt, and pepper. Buzz until smooth, pausing a couple of times to scrape down the sides of the work bowl.|
|3.||Drain the pasta and toss it with the beet purée. Serve immediately, hot,
passing the Parmesan cheese, if using, at the table.|
Excerpted from PASSIONATE VEGETARIAN copyright © 2002 Crescent Dragonwagon.
Reprinted with the permission of Workman Publishing Co., Inc. All Rights Reserved.