The classic red sauce is a staple in our rotation, but coming up with a fresh new sauce was a welcomed addition to our tired routine. At least for me; Phil is still on the fence about beets… and pesto. One thing we do agree on is our love for brown rice pasta. We use the gluten-free pasta brand Tinkyada, and honestly once you throw some sauce on it’s hard to tell the difference, I DARE YOU!
I can’t take full credit for this recipe. My food-savvy friend Sarah — the same one who made her own wedding cake — put the idea in my head. Though our recipes differ slightly the end result is a deliciously light sauce. It all comes down to a few simple ingredients: beets, spinach, garlic, and basil. You can elaborate or adapt the recipe to your tastes; for instance, Sarah makes hers by sautéing spinach and kale with onion and garlic before blending it with the beets. Sometimes when I’m feeling decadent, I stir in some cream.
Red Beet Pesto
2 roasted red beets
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
I roasted two beats with EVOO, salt and pepper for about 45 minutes. When all’s cooked and cooled enough to handle, I peel and chop the beats and put them in a food processor with a couple generous handfuls of spinach, some crushed garlic, basil leaves, and more EVOO. I blend to desired consistency, adding more oil if needed. I also mix in a little shaved parmesan if i have it, then garnish with lemon zest come presentation time. The lemon zest is SO important to this dish! It makes all the difference in creating a fresh and exciting meal.
Best enjoyed right right away but can last a couple of days in the fridge if you have extras.
As you can see, I snuck in a little piece of honey garlic sausage for an extra protein kick. It was delicious.