Recently I was at the organic market and saw that they had fresh, seasonal golden beets. Until recently, I had only had golden beets in restaurants and had only cooked with regular beets which turn everything they touch bright pink. I love golden beets - they are easier to work with in the kitchen and have a pleasant sweet taste. I can't really describe the difference but as a beet fan, I like them better than the typical magenta variety.
I decided to create a pasta dish that was light and refreshing and that would showcase the fresh summer beets. This pasta dish is basically a salad, but for the pasta. It can be served cold or warm and showcases the bitterness of the arugula with the sweetness of the beets. I added goat cheese, but you could certainly use parmesan or pecorino. The lemon is the perfect accompaniment for this dish - it adds a pleasant refreshing quality to the light olive oil based sauce. This is the perfect healthy summer meal.
Sasha's Summer Pasta with Lemon, Arugula & Golden Beets
1 box of spiral pasta (fuselli)
2 golden beets, cooked and peeled
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
3 oz baby arugula
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (a lemon flavored olive oil would be a delightful substitute)
6 oz goat cheese crumble
To prepare this dish, make the pasta al dente. Prepare the beets by boiling them for about a half an hour. Rinse them in cold water so they are cooler to the touch and peel off the skin with your hands. Slice the beets and mix them in the pasta dish with the lemon juice, lemon zest and olive oil. When the pasta has cooled slightly, mix in the goat cheese crumble and the arugula. This was delicious!