Reasons to love this dish: 1) It’s Green! Using both the beets and their greens means less waste (and less money at the store). 2) If you used red beets in this recipe, you would have pink pasta! Valentine’s Day idea, anyone? Ok, that’s a silly reason to love this dish. 3) The earthiness of the beets goes so well with the slightly bitter greens, the sweet onions, and the toasty pine nuts. Really, it’s a brilliant combination. We halved the recipe below because it serves 4-6. It paired beautifully with this 2007 Roussanne from Lavender Ridge Vineyard in the Sierra Foothills.
Farfalle with Golden Beets, Beet Greens, and Pine Nuts
(From the Feb. 2009 issue of Bon Appetit)
1/3 cup pine nuts
2 large onions, quartered lengthwise through root end, sliced crosswise (about 4 cups)
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 bunches 2-inch-diameter golden beets with fresh healthy greens; beets peeled and cut into wedges; greens coarsely chopped
12 oz farfalle (bow-tie pasta)
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese plus additional for serving
- Toast the pine nuts in a skillet over medium heat until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl.
- Add 2 TBS. of olive oil and the sliced onions to the same skillet. Sauté until beginning to soften and turn golden, about 10 minutes. Turn the heat down to medium-low and continue to sauté until onions are browned and caramelized, about 30 minutes longer.
- Add the garlic and stir for 2 minutes. Scatter the beet greens on top of the onions. Drizzle with remaining 2 TBS. olive oil, cover, and cook until greens are tender, about 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the beet wedges until tender, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer beets to a medium bowl.
- Bring the water back up to a boil and add the pasta to the beet cooking liquid. Cook until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid. Return pasta to pot.
- Stir onion-greens mixture and beets into pasta. Add pasta cooking liquid by 1/4 cupfuls to moisten. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir in 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese. Divide pasta among shallow bowls. Sprinkle with pine nuts. Serve, passing additional cheese at the table.