ricotta and beet rigatoni
Adapted from Good Food.
It doesn't take much to convince us to try a new pasta recipe, especially when it is made fresh. This one incorporated fall beets, roasted hazelnuts and rich, creamy ricotta. It was a really bright and tasty vegetarian dish, that could easily have shrimp or chicken added, if preferred. Perhaps what we liked most was how light it was, which is not often the case for rich pasta dishes. It had good flavour and was filling, but didn't make you feel overly full. We also liked that they fit perfectly into our cute, new bowls that match our more farmhouse rustic theme for our new house. Hopefully you'll be seeing many more of our favourite recipes in these bowls over the next year or so!
1 ½ cups of yellow or red beets, sliced
2 ½ tbsp. Parmesan
2 ½ tbsp. hazelnuts
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup fresh rigatoni pasta
1 bunch chives
½ cup of vegetable or chicken broth
2 tbsp. vinegar
1 tbsp. red chili flakes
2 cups diced chicken or shrimp (optional)
- COOK THE CHICKEN & BEETS. If you are adding chicken, cut the thawed breast into cubes and cook in a pan on medium heat, drizzled with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper for flavor. Remove from the pan when the chicken is cook through, no longer pink.
As the chicken cooks, bring a pot of salted water to a boil, adding the beets and cooking for about 25 minutes. Drain the beets, and once cool, rub the skin off the beats using a paper towel. Slide the beets thinly into rounds, about ¼ inch thick. Place in a bowl with the vinegar, tossing thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper.
- PREP IT. As the beets (and chicken) are cooking, salt another pot and bring it to a boil. Thinly slice the chives and the peeled shallots. In a separate bowl, mix together the Parmesan, 3 tbsp of olive oil, the ricotta, and the dried chili flakes. Add ½ the chives as well as salt and pepper.
- BOIL THE PASTA. We suggest that you use fresh pasta, which you can usually find in a store, rather than the dried pasta in the box. Add the pasta to the pot of boiling water, cooking for about 7-9 minutes or until al dente. Once cooked, drain the pasta thoroughly and toss with a drizzle of olive oil.
This is also a good time to cook the shrimp in a small plan on medium heat. Drizzle olive oil over the shrimp, as well as some salt and pepper until they are almost fully cooked.
- GETTIN' NUTTY. As the pasta finishes cooking, toast the hazelnuts in a medium-heat dry pan for about 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from the heat, cool, and rub the nuts with a cloth or paper towel to remove the skins. Coarsely chop the nuts and move into a bowl, drizzled with olive oil and salt and pepper.
- FINISH & ENJOY. Wipe out the pan with the hazelnuts and add a drizzle of olive oil. Heat it on medium, adding the shallots and stirring frequently. After about 2 minutes, add the beets and flip them every couple of minutes until they are lightly browned on both sides. Add a few scoops of the ricotta mixture, ½ cup of broth, and the drained pasta. Add in the cooked shrimp at this point too, if you chose to include them in the recipe. Stir the mixture frequently until all of the pasta is well coated. You can add more broth if you find it too dry. Season with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
Plate the pasta into your desired bowl, top with the remaining ricotta and garnish with the hazelnuts and remaining chives.
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