Roasted Beet Sauce with Penne

Beets really get a bad wrap. I was introduced to them as a child in canned form. The kind you find at buffet salad bars. Not at all a good representation of this vibrant root vegetable. Until a few years ago, I thought beets were gross. Like all foods I dislike, I make it my mission to find a way in which I might enjoy or at least appreciate that which I found distasteful. My beet journey began with beet and lemon filled ravioli and from there to beet and chèvre crostini with honey-orange glaze and beet gnocchi. Beets are truly a lovely vegetable. They can be manipulated in so many ways and offer such beautiful jewel-toned hues to any dish. This roasted beet sauce could be altered in many ways to suite individual taste and could be served with any pasta. I think it would go especially well served chunky atop pork tenderloin.

Give this sauce a try. It makes for a lovely plate.

Beets and Garlic

Roasted Beet Sauce with Penne
8 oz whole pasta, such as penne
5-6 medium beets, washed and chopped
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
3 T orange-infused olive oil
¼ c light red wine, such as Beaujolais
1 T herbes de provençe blend (including lavender)
salt, to taste
splash lemon juice
splash cream, optional
freshly shaved Parmesan
Freshly chopped basil, optional

Heat oven to 400°F.

  • Cook pasta until al dente. Reserve 1 cup pasta water and set aside.
  • Line baking sheet with aluminum foil and chopped beets and garlic cloves. Drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 40 minutes or until fork-tender.
    Beets, Garlic with Olive Oil
  • In a blender or food processor, add cooked beets, garlic and Beaujolais. Combine until smooth.
  • In a medium saucepan, add herbes de provence and simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add a splash of lemon juice, stir. If desired also a splash of cream for richness. Salt to taste.
    Sauce in Pot
  • Use reserved pasta water to stretch, if needed.
  • Pour sauce over pasta and stir until thoroughly dispersed.
  • Serve hot, topped with shaved parm and chopped basil.

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