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Simple Cooking - Pasta with Beet Greens

By Anthony Todd in Food on Apr 21, 2009 4:00PM

Over the past six months, we’ve developed a love of dark, leafy greens. Kale, Collards, Chard - we like all of them, and somehow they’d never crossed our path before. This recipe uses another under-utilized leaf: Beet Greens.

Beet greens show up in the supermarket in two different ways: in bundles (with just the greens) or as the entire plant with the beets still attached to the bottom. We prefer the latter - it’s like getting two vegetebles for the price of one. Like beets, they aren’t too pricy. In fact, a friend tipped us off to a good deal at Whole Foods: A substantial bundle of beets, with the greens attached, costs about $2.50.

Pasta with Beet Greens

1 bunch of beets, with greens attached, chopped
ΒΌ cup chopped red onion
1 large shallot, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tps. Crushed red pepper flakes
4 tbsp olive oil
2 strips of bacon, sliced (Optional)
1 box of Spaghetti

Put a pot of water on to boil, for the pasta. Once the water is boiling, add the Spaghetti - the beets and the pasta will cook in the same amount of time. Heat the oil in a large saute pan, over medium-high heat. Add the bacon, if you’re using it, and cook until crisp. Then, add the garlic, onions, crushed red pepper and shallot and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the beets and a generous pinch of salt.

You can leave out the bacon with no real effect on the recipe - it just adds a little bit of savory flavor. If you want to keep it vegetarian, try experimenting with some savory spices.

After the beets have cooked for about 3 minutes, add the beet greens. Toss everything together well, and continue to cook. Once the pasta is done, drain it and add it to the pan. Turn off the heat, toss the beets with the pasta - everything should turn an light pink color. Add salt and pepper to taste.