Shocking pink pasta

Thursday, 13 November 2014
I was given Clotilde Dusoulier's (of Chocolate and Zucchini fame) French Market Cookbook for Christmas last year and it's taken me this long to get my act in gear and try out one of the recipes - but it was utterly worth it.  Sometimes it's easier to fall back on the recipes and cookbooks that you know well.

The book is organised into seasons - which definitely appeals to me.  Looking through the Autumn section, it would be difficult to avoid this recipe, as colourful and unusual as it is.  It's also rather easy to make.  Once again, this was a recipe that D helped me with and he could repeat all of the ingredients and instructions to Mr K when he got home - in this way, I hope to teach him some recipes.... by rote if you will!

I made some adaptations to the original - I think that beetroot and dill go really well together and walnuts are one of my favourite nuts.  Adding the ground almonds meant that the recipe still retained that flavour too.  D is four and a half now, so I tend to think that small bits of nuts are probably okay.  These could be omitted from the portion of even smaller children as they are added at the end.  The ground almonds also means that the child still gets the taste and the goodness of the nuts.

I'm afraid I'm already into what I affectionately term winter issues.  Be kind - photography is hard when there is no natural light and you need to take photos quickly because your four year old is STARVING HUNGRY.

Stats: - serves four adults, generously.  We were able to have more for lunch the following day but doesn't keep any longer than this - and is no good for freezing.  Takes around twenty minutes including preparation time.

400g cappellini (or long pasta)
350g beetroot, peeled and cut into rough cubes
250ml whipping cream
a tablespoon of dried dill
two teaspoons of cumin seeds
40g ground almonds
one garlic clove - peeled and roughly chopped
60g walnut pieces.  I cut these still further with a mezzaluna - or D did, making it okay for smaller ones.

Cook your pasta according to pack instructions.

Whilst the pasta is cooking, in a blender whizz up the beetroot, cream, dill, cumin seeds, garlic and ground almonds, until smooth.

In a frying pan - dry fry the walnut pieces to toast.  Keep an eye that they don't burn and move them about in the pan a bit regularly to evenly toast.  Over a medium heat this takes around five minutes.

Drain pasta and add beetroot sauce.  Warm through for a minute or two.

Serve the pasta.  Top with the walnuts.

Take an obligatory photograph of your son eating the whole bowl of pasta at once...

I'd say this went well for D - he loved making it, the vibrant colour of the pasta and the well cut up walnuts.  Given that he had already had a main meal at school, this was a really impressive response to the meal:- 


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