Not too long ago, a friend of mine said that she tries cooking occasionally and things just never seem to work out. “One time,” she says laughing, “I tried pasta with brussel sprouts. Those definitely don’t go together!” Challenge accepted, Shelbi.
Beets are not only found in Borscht or in the old folks’ home! Roasting beets brings out a lovely sweet flavour that is often masked by their earthiness. Golden beets can also work well in this dish, but I absolutely love the red colour! Your leftovers (which are just as good cold!) will probably turn pink. Beets are also wonderful in smoothies, salads, and even desserts! I once made a vegan fudge with a beet base and they were soooo good. Last weekend, C and I went to The Acorn where we tried a ravioli made out of thin beet slices instead of pasta. So interesting and delicious! They’re also useful for tracking how efficient your digestive system is, but I won’t go into detail about that here. Team Beets all the way!
I think roasted vegetables tend to have a very heavy, heartiness to them. However, I went for a lighter feel to the dish by adding in some fresh chopped Italian parsley, and smothering everything in a tangy tahini sauce. It was like a Spring-y Alfredo with a lot less guilt!
In hindsight, it would have been much better to start the beets first, then add the brussels since they did get a bit browner than I prefer. It could also just be my oven trying to compensate for its old age by heating up at least 50 degrees hotter than necessary.
What are some unlikely food combinations that you’ve tried and liked (or disliked!)?
Rigatoni with Roasted Beets and Brussel Sprouts
3 servings, Ready in 30-40 minutes
- 2 Beets (any kind), peeled and diced
- 1 1/2 c Brussel sprouts (about 10), quartered
- 3 c Rigatoni (or your favourite pasta)
- 2 T Tahini
- 1 Bunch Italian parsley, chopped
- Olive or vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 t Lemon juice
- Salt and Pepper
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Lay out beets and brussels on a baking sheet. Drizzle with oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Roast for 35 minutes or until the beets are tender. (If adding brussel sprouts later, mix in a bowl with 1 T oil and salt and pepper. Then add them to baking sheet after about 15 minutes.)
- Cook the pasta as directed by package. Drain. Toss with chopped parsley and roasted vegetables.
- For the tahini sauce: Mix tahini, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt. Gradually add water, 1 tsp at a time until desired consistency is reached (totaling about 2 T of water). Add more salt or lemon to taste if desired. Drizzle on top.
- Serve immediately or chill and eat as a pasta salad. Enjoy!