This colorful dish is striking to behold yet incredibly simple to make. The pasta takes on the brilliant ruby hue of beets, and sets it against dark green leaves and snowy white feta. Besides the vibrant colors, the dish highlights contrasting flavors: sweet beetroot, earthy greens, slightly bitter walnuts and salty cheese.
Makes 2 servings
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
½ pound young beet greens, trimmed, rinsed, drained and chopped or torn in pieces
¼ cup water or vegetable stock
1 cooked beet, peeled and cut in small dice (about ¾ cup)
1⁄3 pound cooked noodles of an interesting shape, hot or at room temperature
¼ cup broken unsalted walnuts, lightly toasted
Salt and pepper, to taste
1⁄3 cup crumbled feta
Heat the olive oil in a medium sauté pan set on low, add the garlic and cook until just soft. Add the beet greens and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are wilted and tender. Add the water or stock along with the cooked noodles and diced beet.
Cover the pan for a minute to heat, then stir to mix the noodles in the pan. With repeated stirring, they will take on the red color of the beets. When the noodles are hot, stir in the walnuts and season with salt and pepper.
Divide the pasta between 2 plates. Scatter the feta on top, but do not stir, so that its white color will contrast with the red and green. Serve immediately.