There is something very exhilarating about recipes that are unabashedly themselves. I get especially excited when those recipes revolve around a single plant, and in the case of this recipe: beets.
Why, you ask? The answer is simple. We live in a world full of filters. Authenticity is dead. Storytelling and branding have stripped things from their essence. Nothing feels naked, not even vegetables.
This recipe on the other hand is exactly what it looks like. No smoke, no mirrors- just beets and spaghetti. This recipe owns it, and does not care whether you are going to love it, hate it, or fall in love. It is independent and unique, naked, and uninhibited.
First, beets are roasted until they fall apart: tender, sweet, and earthy. Then, they are pureed with water, salt, and sumac, until silky-smooth and decadent. This is the sauce to your pasta: no frills, just beets. When combined with olive oil, garlic, each spaghetti strand becomes the necessary vehicle: toothsome, hearty, and stick-to-the-ribs good.
Preheat oven to 400
1 large pot with lid
1 large skillet
- 3 medium-sized red beets
- 5 ½ cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- 1 teaspoon sumac
- 8 ounces gluten-free pasta
- 1 clove garlic
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more to garnish
- cilantro, for garnish
1. To make the beet sauce: Your oven should be warming to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Wrap each beet in aluminum foil. Place in a baking sheet and roast for 60 minutes.
2. Remove from the foil and let cool until the beets are cool enough to handle. Peel the skin off each beet, then cut into quarters.
3. Place beets in the bowl of a food processor. Add 1 ½ cups of the water, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and 1 teaspoon of the sumac. Pulse for several minutes until smooth. Add more water if needed. You want to sauce to be smooth, but not watery.
4. To make the pasta: Place a large pot with 4 cups of water over high heat. Bring to a soft boil. Add a tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Add the spaghetti and cook for 6-7 minutes. You want the pasta to be al dente, tender with a slight bite.
5. Peel the garlic and cut into 2-3 large pieces.
6. Place the skillet over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Heat through for a minute or two, then add the garlic.
7. Transfer the cooked spaghetti into the skillet. Toss, then add the beet sauce. Stir pasta and sauce over medium heat until evenly incorporated.
8. Serve immediately with a drizzle of the olive oil and a few cilantro leaves for garnish.
Cook time 1 hour 20 minutes
Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten-Free