Baby Girl Beet Pasta!

Surprise!  Hey there!  Just had to pop in mid-week because I couldn’t wait another day to share not only this super yummy recipe with you, but my singular inspiration for creating it.  

A few months back our son and daughter-in-law announced that they would be contributing another member to Team Berry and we’re all crazy excited to meet our newest member in February.  A few days ago they actually topped that news by announcing that it’s also going to be a girl!  Weeehoo!!  Of course, my excitement took me straight to the kitchen so I could make some pink pasta.  I’m sure that’s a totally normal response to news of this magnitude. 

A girl!!  This will be grandchild #6, and the last time we put something pink on a baby was 14 years ago!!  But if grandkid #6 were to be another awesome little boy (that’s the only kind we have around here) we would, of course, have been thrilled.  My 4 grandsons are each and every one remarkably special and very loveable guys and adding another boy to the roster would also have been great fun.  But maybe it’s time for a little added Girl Power! 

So after 14 years, we’ve got another little girl joining the team and like I said, we’re pretty excited about that.  And in honor of this momentously joyous occasion, dinner last night was very pink.  And not coincidentally, it was also very tasty!  Surprisingly so!

I already have one very delicious beet pasta recipe on the blog, but this one is quite different and oh so really good.   Creating that pink hue was a fun endeavor that eluded me at first try.  Of course, beets were the obvious choice to lend some brilliant color to the dish, and being one of my favorite veggies, it was sort of a slam dunk.  It seemed totally logical to me that cooking the pasta in the same water in which I cooked the beets should do the trick, but sadly, that only turned it a dullish brown.  Didn’t exactly scream baby girl at that point.  

So I got out every red or pink-ish hued thing in my pantry (red wine, red onion, balsamic vinegar), set em on the counter with the beets and got to work.  It all actually came together pretty quickly and turned out so awesome that I had to share it with you.  

And now that I think about it, I don’t suppose there are too many occasions in life when you might want to serve pink pasta, but I guess you never know.  So just in case, here’s the recipe…

Baby Girl Beet Pasta

Click here for a printable recipe

In celebration of the happy announcement that my next grandchild is going to be a long-awaited girl, I came up with this recipe for pink pasta.  But while it was designed for its aesthetic beauty, it has the added bonus of also tasting amazing.  This recipe makes enough for 6-8 people (although that's sort of an arbitrary estimation), so if you’re cooking for a smaller group than that, just cut the recipe in half. 

Serves 6-8 

3 or 4 medium-sized beets (about a pound)
1 lb thin spaghetti 
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ red onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup red wine
½ cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
Crumbled feta cheese for serving 

Scrub the beets really well, trim the ends cut in half.  Place in a largish pot of boiling water and cook for 30 minutes.  If your beets are very small, no need to cut them and reduce the cooking time. 

Let the beets cool for 5 minutes or so and then don some clean rubber gloves.  Rub the outside of each beet and the skins will just come right off.  Cut the beets into small dice and set aside. 

Stir together the balsamic vinegar and the sugar and set aside. 

Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat.  Add the onion and sauté for 4-5 minutes and then add the minced garlic.  Saute for another minute and then add the wine.  Let the wine cook down and reduce by about half and then season with salt and pepper. 

Add the diced beets to the pan and continue to cook for another minute. 

Stir the balsamic/sugar mixture well to be sure the sugar is dissolved and add it to the pan.  Stir well and simmer for a few minutes, allowing the beets to absorb the flavors of the sauce.  Taste for seasoning. 

Meanwhile bring a pot of salted water to a boil.  Add the pasta and cook for 5-6 minutes, or until just al dente.  Reserve a cup of the pasta water and drain the pasta.

Add the pasta to the sauté pan, using tongs to incorporate the pasta into the sauce until the noodles are pink, adding some of the pasta cooking water as needed to keep the sauce loose and completely coating the pasta. 

To serve, place in serving bowls and top with crumbled feta cheese. 

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