Pasta with Roasted Beet Sauce

Here’s a wonderful recipe for your beets – maybe a little too involved for a school night, but worth the trouble.  This recipe is enough for 2 or 3 people.  If you don’t have all the seasonings, don’t worry, go ahead anyway!


3 medium-sized beets, cleaned and cut into similarly sized pieces (quarters or smaller)
3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
3 sprigs thyme
3 cloves garlic
1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
2 Tbs. vermouth
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
1/4 cup cream or milk
1/2 pound pasta (penne is good)
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 Tbs. poppy or sesame seeds
mint leaves, for garnish
3/4 to 1-cup vegetable stock


Preheat oven to 400°. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the diced beets and cloves of garlic with 1 Tbs. oil, thyme sprigs and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Roast for 40 minutes. Check for doneness at the 30-minute mark.

Transfer roasted beets and garlic to a food processor. Add the balsamic vinegar, vermouth, half of the cheese, the stock and the remaining oil. Pulse until it’s as smooth as you can get it.

Transfer beet mixture to a small saucepan. Add the cream and bring to a light simmer. Add the remaining cheese and another pinch of salt. Simmer on medium-low.

Toast the poppy or sesame seeds in a small skillet until fragrant, about 2 minutes.

Cook the pasta until al dente. Drain and return to skillet. Pour the sauce over the pasta and toss to combine. Give it one more taste. Season accordingly.

Serve pasta garnished with a good sprinkle of the poppy seeds and the mint leaves. Garnish with cheese.