Dishing Up the Dirt

Beet Pasta with Caramelized Leeks, Hazelnuts & Blue Cheese

If you’re looking for an easy weeknight pasta dinner that highlights some of the tastiest ingredients of the season, look no further! I love this simple dish and I hope you all enjoy it as much as we did. This pasta gets a lot of it’s flavor from roasted beets, caramelized leeks and a tangy blue cheese (from one of our favorite local creameries). It’s topped with toasted hazelnuts for crunch and a handful of chopped dill for a bright punch. I used the beet greens for more nutrition and flavor and I think this meal was a great way to celebrate the season. If you find yourself with a bunch of beets, leeks, dill and beet greens in your next CSA haul or farmers market share (hi all of you Tumbleweed Farm families!) give this little dish a whirl.

Happy cooking and eating everyone!

Cheers from Tumbleweed Farm

Beet Pasta with Caramelized Leeks, Hazelnuts & Blue Cheese

Prep Time: 15 minutes    Cook Time: 40 minutes    Serves: 4

  • 1 large bunch of beets, with greens
  • melted butter, ghee or bacon fat for cooking (or any cooking fat you desire)
  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts
  • 2 cups chopped leeks
  • pinch of crushed red pepper falkes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 12 ounces pasta (any type you have on hand)
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons good quality balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons extra olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped dill

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Remove the greens from the beets and finely chop them. Set the greens aside.
  2. In a small dry skillet over medium heat, toast the hazelnuts, shaking the pan occasionally until golden and fragrant. About 8-10 minutes. Remove from the heat and roughly chop.
  3. Cut the beets into 1/2 inch pieces. Toss them with melted butter or ghee and scatter them on a baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper and roast until tender. About 25-30 minutes.
  4. While the beets cook heat about 3 Tablespoons cooking fat in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped leeks, pepper flakes and a fat pinch of salt. Cook, stirring often for about 10-15 minutes or until really soft and tender. If need be turn the heat down to medium-low to prevent burning. Once the leeks are soft add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute longer. Deglaze the pan with 1/4 cup dry wine and throw in the beet greens. Cook until they wilt down and are bright green.
  5. Cook the pasta according to your specific brand, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.
  6. Add the roasted beets to the pan with the leeks and greens. Toss well. Add the cooked pasta and 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid. Toss in the crumbled blue cheese, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, dill and chopped hazelnuts. Toss well. Taste for seasonings and adjust as needed. If the pasta is too dry add the remaining 1/2 cup of cooking liquid.
  7. Serve warm.

Notes

*Use this recipe as a guide and adjust measurement and ingredients as necessary. Always taste test as you go and adjust to your specific needs or likes.


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3 thoughts on “Beet Pasta with Caramelized Leeks, Hazelnuts & Blue Cheese

  1. Madison M says:

    Wow!! Made this tonight and it was amazing!! Thank you so much. Flavor party in my mouth

    1. Andrea says:

      Woohoo!!!

  2. Pepa Maria says:

    Hallo Andrea,
    today I managed to make your wonderful beet recipe with some alterations.
    Due to my husbands dislike of blue cheese I used Parmesan. And walnuts were at hand instead of hazelnuts.
    But the beets, leeks and the basil on top came from my beloved garden.
    With some red whine it was a fantastic meal on this summer evening in northern Germany.

    Thank you for all your recipes and the offen used books.

    Greetings from my kitchen to yours!
    Stay healthy and have happy days on your farm with your loved ones!
    Cheers to the dirt!

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