Beet butter spaghetti! Sounds odd, but this delicious blend of beets, goat cheese and hazelnuts is absolutely addictive! Use leftovers on toast or toss with roasted vegetables.
Disclosure: I was provided with a free copy of Fresh Italian Cooking. I was not compensated to write this post but rather thrilled to promote my dear friend Alex and her amazing work!
Can we just talk about this pretty pink color?
When I saw this recipe in my dear friend and Joyful Eating co-creator Alex Caspero’s new (and first!) cookbook, Fresh Italian Cooking for the New Generation, I knew it had to be the first thing I made. How could I resist?
Let’s just say, beet butter is a revelation. This creamy mix of beets and goat cheese is one of those things you want to eat not only tossed with hot cooked pasta and parmesan cheese, but dolloped over roasted vegetables, spread over crusty toast topped with avocado, drizzled over roasted chicken…and by the spoonful. It was one of those things that my husband and I actually fought over who got to lick the sides of the food processor. I won.
I know most of my regular readers are already familiar with Alex, since we’ve launched our online program together with Anne of fANNEtastic Food. But in case you’re new, Alex is also a registered dietitian and of Italian descent (so her Italian cookbook is legit). She’s put a ton of time into creating 100 tasty vegetarian recipes for this cookbook, and for my vegan friends, over 70 are vegan or easy made vegan.
I have to say, most of the recipes in Alex’s book elicit just as much enthusiasm as beet butter for me. Italian food is one of my favorite cuisines…that is when it’s done right. Rich Olive Garden-style dishes do nothing for me. Every dish seems like pasta, cheese and beef in different forms. Real Italian food is fresh, seasonal and highlights produce, not shredded cheese. It’s this REAL Italian food that Alex modernizes and gives a vegetarian spin in Fresh Italian cooking.
First, let’s talk about her triple cheese baked vegetable macaroni, which still has three (!!!) cheeses, but also packs in green from shredded zucchini, peas and basil. Her sweet potato gnocchi with balsamic brown butter and sage sauce are perfect little pillows of goodness. And her summer farro salad is, well, summer in a bowl.
Here’s some other recipes I’ve got my eye on:
- Cauliflower bechamel
- Roasted beet and mozzarella salad
- White bean, tortellini and kale soup
- Cherry, strawberry and balsamic panzanella
- Wild mushroom lasagna
I wonder if my cookbook club would mind if I suggested this book for our next get together 😉
I love this cookbook for anyone who has that old Atkin’s mentality in the back of their mind that carbs and pasta are “bad.” This cookbook shows how you can use grains, pasta (even white pasta!) and bread to make tasty, plant-focused, nutritious meals.
Snag a copy of Fresh Italian Cooking for the New Generation on Amazon!
- 8 ounces spaghetti (I used a quinoa pasta)
- ½ lb beets
- ¼ cup hazelnuts
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 3 ounces goat cheese
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 3 tablespoons vegetable broth
- Parmesan cheese, for garnish
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente according to package instructions. Reserve 1 cup salty cooking water then drain the pasta.
- Quarter beets and place in a food processor with the hazelnuts. Pulse to combine. Add the olive oil, goat cheese, balsamic and pulse to blend while streaming in the vegetable broth. Stop to scrape down sides if needed. The mixture will become smooth and fluffy. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Place cooked pasta back in the pot. Pour in beet butter and toss to combine. Add in about ⅓ cup of the pasta water to thin. Add more if sauce is too thick. Serve garnished with freshly ground black pepper and parmesan cheese.
More drool-worthy vegetarian pasta dishes: