Pasta with a Beet, Thyme, and Cream Sauce

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by Amy Flanigan on May 15, 2012 · 11 comments

WAIT!! DON’T LEEEAAVvvvv…. sigh.

Okay. Fine. Beet-haters. Who needs ya, anyway!

This post is for the 5% who either like beets, are on the fence, or just plain curious. Thanks for stickin’ around! 

Remember when I was cleaning out the pantry and found that “special” can of julienne beets? I contemplated throwing it out, but then I remembered Bev posted a pasta dish with beets. Bingo.

However, I had to change her recipe, which called for roasting fresh beets. Naturally. See, Bev’s classy and not the kind of gal to have canned beets in her pantry. (She’s also probably not afraid of tornados, hurricanes, earthquakes, or other natural disasters that might level her house, leaving her stranded for days and in search of non-perishable items. My guess is that elevators, bridges, or caves, don’t bother Bev, either.)

What were we talking about? Oh…this pasta dish with beets…

I know this root vegetable is not very popular, but anything mixed with balsamic vinegar, wine, Parmesan, and cream has potential, right? It was good, people. Really. You won’t even be thinking about the beets once you take a bite, except for that gorgeous red color.

Now go out and get yourself a can of beets! ‘Cause I just know you don’t have one laying around like I did.

Pasta with a Beet, Thyme, and Cream Sauce
Serves 3
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes

Ingredients
• 1 (15 ounce) can julienne beets, drained
• 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
• 2 tablespoons white wine
• 3 cloves garlic
• 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided
• 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock
• 1/4 cup cream
• 4-5 small thyme sprigs, plus more for garnish
• 1 teaspoon sugar
• 1/2 pound penne pasta
• coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions
Bring a pot of water to boil.

Place beets, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, wine, garlic, 1/4 cup of the Parmesan, and a little salt and pepper in a food processor. Pulse until it’s smooth.

Transfer beet mixture to a small saucepan. Add the stock, cream, and thyme sprigs; bring to a light simmer. Add the sugar, remaining cheese and another pinch of salt. Simmer on low while your pasta cooks.

Cook the penne until al dente (about 11 minutes.) Drain and return to pot. Discard thyme from the sauce and pour over the pasta; toss to combine. Season accordingly.

Serve in bowls, sprinkle with grated Parmesan and garnish with a thyme sprig or two.

(adapted from Bev Cooks)

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Rona November 11, 2013 at 4:46 am

I’d love to try this with some fresh golden beets I bought at the farmers market! If I use dried thyme, how much should I use?

Reply

Amy @Very Culinary November 11, 2013 at 7:36 am

Hi Rona – dried herbs are much stronger than fresh herbs and it’s generally recommended using one-third to a half the amount of dried herb to fresh herb (like substituting one teaspoon dried for every tablespoon fresh.) So maybe a teaspoon of dried in this dish?

Reply

Stephanie May 29, 2012 at 11:06 am

I like beets. I wouldn’t say I LOVE them, but I enjoy them. Hubby, on the other hand? Not so much. I’d love to try this. I’ll have to put it on my list for the next time he’s out of town. Can you REALLY go wrong with cream and pasta in the same dish? I don’t think so.

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Hannah@mindrunningwild May 16, 2012 at 2:32 am

As part of the (apparent) 5%, I clicked on this recipe BECAUSE of the beets! I truly love their sweet taste and adore the colour. What fun to add it to pasta! I wonder how this would taste with goat or feta cheese instead of parm?

Reply

Mel (Sharky Oven Gloves) May 15, 2012 at 6:54 pm

Wow, this looks so delicious – I just love the colour, it’s fantastic!

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Joanne May 15, 2012 at 4:51 pm

This on-the-fence-about-beets girl stuck around. FOR YOU! Because I trust you with my on-the-fence-beet-ness. And know htat if anyone is going to lure me over to the dark/purple/red side…it’s you. :P

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Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary May 15, 2012 at 12:56 pm

I love almost every veggie on earth, but beets – Noooooooooo! I just can’t! I have tried and I just gag. I think that putting them in the food processor might make me want to try them. You might have me sold on trying them!

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Jay May 15, 2012 at 10:07 am

And people will actually eat snails too!!! You smother anything in enough butter & garlic, and crazy people will eat it. I’m thinking you could have ground up lawn clippings with the other great ingredients (olive oil, balsamic vinegar, white wine, garlic, cream and parmesian cheese) and produced an equally tasty dish. Put me down in the 95% as a Beet Flavor Skeptic.

Reply

Jenna May 15, 2012 at 7:03 am

I AM curious about this . . . I’ve never cooked with beets, but if I want to be fearless like you and Bev maybe I need to get on my game.

Reply

the wicked noodle May 15, 2012 at 6:36 am

I’LL try it, Amy!! Mostly because it looks YUMMY! But also because you’re pretty groovy.

Reply

Bev @ Bev Cooks May 15, 2012 at 6:15 am

Aaaahhhh, if you only KNEW how scared I am of every.thing.evar. you’d laugh a river. Or wait, I mean cry one. And then you’d laugh a raft right out of it.

I don’t even know.

This looks AWESOME!

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