Penne with Beets, Swiss Chard, Goat Cheese, and Walnuts

author: sarahjane

created: 2008-01-22 01:57:24



This is a good, nutritious winter dish with a flavour balance (hot, sour, salty, sweet) worthy of Thailand, although it couldn't taste less Thai. The sweetness of the beets is nicely countered by the heat of the chili flakes and the salty sourness of the goat cheese (you could probably use feta to, ahem, kick it up a notch). Plus, there are walnuts! My baby daughter got a nut free version, and loved the beets. She looked like a mini vampire with the beet juice running down her chin.


2 beets per person scrubbed Whole wheat fusilli (1 ½ cups per person) 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 1 garlic clove per person, minced 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme per person 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes per person Sea salt or kosher salt 1 tbsp lemon juice per person 2 oz fresh goat cheese, crumbled per person 2 oz heavy cream or creme fraiche per person Freshly ground black pepper ¼ cup walnuts per person, toasted and coarsley chopped Preheat oven to 400 degrees, wrap beets in foil and place on baking sheet, roast until they can be pierced easily with the tip of a knife, about 45 minutes. Wash and drain the chard, cut into 1/2 inch wide ribbons and set aside. Unwrap the beets, transfer to a colander, and cool under cold water. Peel skins and discard. Trim ends off the beets, and cut into 1/2 inch wide sticks. Bring pot of salted water to a boil. Add penne and cook until al dente, about 8 min. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat until it shimmers, Add garlic, thyme, and pepper flakes, cook stirring until garlic is lightly colored, 1-2 min. Add beets, chard, and salt to taste, cook, stirring, until greens have wilted, 2-5 min. Stir in lemon juice. Drain pasta, add to pan. Stir in goat cheese and cream and bring to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately sprinkled w/ walnuts.