Pasta is a world-renowned comfort food, right? But it can be equally healthy and nutritious, making a perfect weeknight dinner when you want something quick but good for you! And that’s where this Beetroot and Feta Pasta recipe comes in. Earthy pink beets pair well with salty feta and buttery pecans, giving you a perfectly balanced meatless pasta dish that comes together in under 20 minutes! And of course, we have to mention the striking colour of this bright pink pasta, right?
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Why You Will Love This Recipe
- It is vegetarian, but you will not miss the meat! With a bunch of different flavours and textures at play in this beet pasta recipe, it is a great dish to make for meatless Mondays.
- This easy recipe comes together in under 20 minutes, making it ideal for busy evenings or quick lunches.
- Only 7 ingredients – and that is including things like olive oil that you probably already have!
- A great way to incorporate more beets into your diet!
- This beetroot pasta recipe is great when you are bored of more traditional pasta in tomato sauce, like Pasta Napoletana or Spaghetti Arrabbiata.
- Perfect for Valentine’s Day dinner! The hot pink colour of this pasta will truly impress!
Ingredients And Substitutes
- Pasta: use your favorite pasta shape, but if you want to make it healthier, we highly recommend wholewheat pasta – not only does it add extra fibre to the dish but it also complements the earthy beet flavour! Or you can take it a step further and make your own pasta dough!
- Cooked Beetroot: you can use cooked vacuum-packed beets or cook your own (more on this below).
- Olive Oil: we used extra virgin olive oil in this beet pasta recipe, but avocado oil or cold-pressed rapeseed oil will work well too!
- Spinach: can be substituted with other greens, like rocket (arugula) or watercress. Alternatively substitute your greens with a bunch of herbs, like tarragon, parsley or dill.
- Feta: can be substituted with soft goat cheese. Or if you’re looking to make this beetroot pasta vegan, use Vegan White Greek Block or spoon Dairy-Free Cream cheese on top.
- Garlic Cloves: will be used in both the beetroot sauce for pasta and the pecan drizzle.
- Pecans: a lovely buttery nut that works extremely well here. We have not found a suitable substitution, so we highly recommend you use pecans in this recipe.
How To Cook Beetroot (If You Have Raw Beets)?
If you have raw beets and would like to cook them for this recipe yourself, you have a couple of options. Make sure to trim the root and greens off of the beetroot (but not too much, or the colour will bleed out), then wash the beets gently, not tearing the skin. When your fresh beets are prepped like this, you can
- Boil them. Place them in a pan of water, bring it to boil and then reduce the heat. Simmer your beets until tender: around 30-40 minutes depending on their size, until fork tender.
- Steam them in a vegetable steamer, or covered, over a pan of simmering water. It will take a little longer than boiling.
- Roast. Wrap individual beets in aluminium foil and roast them at 200°C for 45-60 minutes, depending on their size, until tender. Roasted beets have a more concentrated earthy flavour.
Once your beetroot is cooked, let them cool down until you can handle them without burning your hands. Peel them (the skin should peel off really easily if the beetroot is well cooked) and use them in recipes to give your dishes earthy flavour and vibrant color.
Make Pecan Drizzle
In a small pan, toast the pecans, just until slightly browned and smell nutty. Tip them into a pestle and mortar to cool down slightly. Add half a clove of chopped-up garlic, a pinch of salt and 2-3 tablespoon of olive oil. Then grind everything into a coarse nutty drizzle.
Make Beetroot Pasta
Cook the pasta following the instructions on the packet in a pot of boiling water with a teaspoon of salt, ensuring it’s cooked al dente.
To make the beetroot sauce for pasta, place the cooked beetroot, garlic, olive oil and a pinch of salt into a food processor. Blitz it to a smooth paste. This is your beet pasta sauce. It may taste a little strong if you eat it on its own, but don’t worry, it will be just perfect when mixed with bland pasta.
Drain the cooked pasta and put it back into the pan it was cooking in. Pour in the beet sauce and stir on low heat just enough for the sauce to warm through – it will only take 30 seconds or so.
Divide the spinach between two bowls and top it with beet pasta.
Crumble feta cheese on top and spoon the pecan drizzle all over.
Serve it with some crusty sourdough bread slices to mop up that beautiful beetroot sauce and pecan drizzle at the bottom of your bowl! It’s delicious 🙂
If you want to add a little extra flavour to your beetroot and feta pasta, fresh herbs are the way to go! We highly recommend adding a small bunch of finely chopped parsley, dill or tarragon to this recipe!
We tested this recipe with noodle-type pasta (spaghetti, linguine etc.) and smaller, more intricately shaped pasta type, and we think that pasta with lots of nooks and crannies (like fusilli or conchiglie) work better, as these can take a lot more of that delicious beetroot sauce!
If you made a large batch of the sauce and have leftovers, you can store it in the fridge in the airtight container for up to 2 days. Alternatively, freeze it for 2-3 months. Simply thaw it overnight in the fridge before using.
What To Serve Beetroot Pasta With?
Filling as it is, this Beetroot and Feta Pasta can benefit from a slice of crusty sourdough bread to mop up any leftover beetroot sauce in your bowl! What is more, serve it with a lovely green salad as a side dish for an even healthier meal. We particularly like it with simple arugula (rocket) and balsamic salad or Courgette Ribbon Salad.
Have More Beetroot To Cook With?
We have you covered! We love cooking with beets, and here are some of our favourite recipes:
- Chinese-Spiced Beetroot & Sweet Potato Salad
- Beetroot and Goat’s Cheese Pasta
- Pink Beet Crêpes with Cream Cheese & Basil Filling
Other Quick Vegetarian Pasta Recipes
Beetroot Pasta With Feta
- 200 g pasta
- 80 g feta
- 60 g spinach
- 150 g cooked beetroot
- 20 ml extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 garlic clove
For Pecan Drizzle:
- 30 g pecan nuts
- ½ garlic clove
- 3-4 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Cook the pasta following the instructions on the packet.
- In the meantime, make the pecan drizzle. In a small pan, toast the pecans, just until slightly browned and smell nutty. Tip them into a pestle and mortar to cool down slightly. Add half a clove of chopped-up garlic, a pinch of salt and 2-3 tablespoon of olive oil. Then grind everything into a coarse nutty drizzle.
- To make the beetroot sauce for pasta, place the beetroot, garlic, olive oil, 2 tablespoon of water and a pinch of salt into a food processor. Blitz it to a smooth paste.
- Drain the pasta and put it back into the pan it was cooking in. Pour in the beet sauce and stir on low heat just enough for the sauce to warm through (it will take less than a minute).
- Serve the beet pasta on a bed of spinach in shallow bowls. Crumble feta cheese on top and spoon the pecan drizzle all over.