Saturday, April 5, 2008

I'm red but not embarassed ...

I'm hot for you, baby
I'm a big old beet
I'm red but not embarassed
and I'm good with meat
Of course, I make an excellent borscht
and I'm hot for you, baby!

The Hot Beet Song from the Brak Show :)

No meat or borscht today. But we're definitely talking about a red beet, red enough to stain our penne :) We're pretty big fans of penne - always seems like the perfect length for pasta, thick and chewy and lately, there seem to be a plethora of varieties that are insanely tasty - like the fabulous whole wheat and flax version carried by TJs.

This recipe was a quick'n'easy thrown together on one of thost post-workout nights when one craves carbs - the healthy kind, made all the better when tosses with an abundance of vegetables. We settled for a whole wheat penne, tossed with marinated beets and a few other vegetables. The killer flavour though was the dry curds we added as an afterthought!

If you haven't tried Sunshine Ithe most common brand of dry curds) as yet, I would strongly recommend it. It is a little hard to find, we've only consistently found it at Whole Foods. These dry curds make for a great substitute for cottage cheese - drier, chunkier, WAY less sodium, tons of protein and they absorb flavours incredibly well. We've used them with pastas, in salads, even in purees for sauces - every single option has worked outstandingly well. And when you're in training and trying to load up on protein, it makes for incredible nutrition, especially for someone who is predominantly vegetarian!


Beet-stained Penne + vegetables
I'm definitely red, but not embarassed :)

Servings: 2

3 cups of whole wheat penne - cooked al dente
1/2 vidalia onion - sliced long
1 red beet -diced
2 T balsamic vinegar
2 T olive oil
8-10 large green olives (pitted)
1 cup Sunshine dry curds
8-10 brussel sprouts - sliced thick
salt, red pepper flakes
1 T dried marjoram

Mix 1 T of olive oil and the balsamic vinegar and toss with the diced beets.
Let the beet bits marinate for about 1/2 hour.

Heat the remaining 1T of olive oil and saute the onions till browned.
Add the sliced brussel sprouts and saute for 3-4 minutes.
If the olives are marinated in brine, wipe them clean and slice them.
Add the olive, salt and marjoram and saute for 1-2 minutes.
Add the cooked penne and toss till all ingredients are well mixed.
Add the dry curds and saute for another minute or 2 on low.
Take off the heat and toss with the beets, add the marinade into the pasta too.
Season with red pepper flakes (and salt) as needed.



Simple and really tasty - we kind of achieved the optimal blend of sweet and tart flavours accentuated with a touch of spice. And the dry curds totally absorbed the juices, making for a succulent addition to the pasta!

Quick? Definitely! Pasta? Hell Yes! Off this goes to Ruth of Once Upon a Feast for Presto Pasta Night. :)


Srivalli said...

nice colour!..

Seena said...

Thought you are talking abt some spicy red chillies , the dish looks beautiful, KK.. :)

Anonymous said...

love the colour....never tried beets in pasta....

sunita said...

Penne is one of our favourites too ...lovely colour :-)

TBC said...

Love the pretty color of the beet-stained pasta!

Siri said...

Gorgeous looking pasta Kaykat!


ranji said...

thats a really neat color!!!i have done the same with spaghetti.its a feast for the eyes :)..urs looks really delicious...nice entry!!!

Nupur said...

Now that pasta is sure to bring some color into my cheeks! :D
Thank you for your comment, dear KayKat but no, we haven't got the goody bag that you so lovingly sent...I just hope it is not lost in the mail :(
I'll be sure to let you know the minute it arrives!

Saswati said...

The pasta looks awesome...never tried with beets though...lovely colour:)

Priyanka said...

hey KK, first time on ur blog. ur recipes are really cool and the pics just awesome. will come back later to check out all of them at leisure.

DK said...

That color is awesome! Never tried this combo...good one

Vani said...

The beet has added such a lovely color to the pasta! Had not heard of dry curds but it sure looks like something I'd want to check out!

Uma said...

so colorful. this is a new recipe to me. I am a fan of pasta, but never used beet. Thanks for a nice idea.

Holler said...

Gorgeous pasta and very pretty colours, but I am dubious about the sprouts! I have great suspicion about those little green balls! the only veg, I do not like!

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Cham said...

Wow, what a stain, dried curd got to try soon:) Love the pasta colour nice way to hide the wheat penne :)

Happy cook said...

Beautiful Colour.

AnuZi said...

Heheh loved the quirky poem at the start of your entry. How ever did you come across it. Love the color and the pic. Looks divine!!

Peabody said...

I love the color the beets give off.

SMN said...

Nice colour and penne luks nice

Nags said...

i am a huge beet lover, especially cuz of its color!

Ruth Daniels said...

I couldn't agree more with all the beet lovers out there. Glorious color, great flavor...what more could you want?

Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights.

Arundathi said...

hmmm now i'm on a quest to find dried curd. not sure if it'll even be available in india! love the beets!