INGREDIENTS FOR THE BEETS:
- 6 jumbo beets
- Zest of 1 orange
- 10 sprigs thyme
- 1 head garlic
- 1 cup olive oil
- 1 cup water
- Salt to taste
INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE BEETS:
- Preheat oven to 400°. Peel beets and roast them in a hotel pan, uncovered, with orange zest, thyme, garlic, olive oil, water and salt until just cooked, about 40 minutes.
- Puree half of the beets in a blender or food processor and large dice the other half.
INGREDIENTS FOR BEETROOT CAVATELLI:
- 1 1/2 lbs. fresh cavatelli (you can use beetroot pasta if available at your specialty Italian market)
- 1 cup butter
- Pecorino to taste
- Red wine vinegar to taste
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- About 40 whole fennel fronds
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup smoked ricotta salata
- 1/2 cup pistachios, chopped
INSTRUCTIONS FOR BEETROOT CAVATELLI:
- Cook the cavatelli in boiling water for three to four minutes, until al dente. Reserve pasta water.
- To make the sauce, combine 1/2 cup pasta water and 1/2 cup butter. Add the diced beets and pasta. Add more butter (to taste), pecorino and a splash of red wine vinegar. Add olive oil, 1/2 of fennel fronds, beetroot puree and salt and pepper to taste.
- Garnish with grated smoked ricotta salata, pistachios, olive oil to taste, and remaining fennel fronds.