This delicious and easy vegan pasta recipe is a simple comfort dish that takes just over an hour.
I started my new book club book this week. I’m always suspicious of books at the beginning (“I don’t know you. I don’t know if I like you yet.”) but the author had me in the introduction. Maybe I loved it so much because I’m a big fan of motivational words, or maybe it’s the teacher in me, but I think everyone should read something like this. The differentiation Jen made in the introduction between wanting and deciding was powerful. It’s something that I struggle with (as I’m sure we all do): having all these dreams and desires (like trying to be a good vegan) but never making the time to go after them.
“Deciding means jumping in all the way, doing whatever it takes, and going after your dreams with the tenacity of a dateless cheerleader a week before prom night” – Jen Sincero
I’m usually a go-getter, but there’s definitely room for improvement. I get sucked into television, which seriously I think is the most useless waste of time, but I can’t stay away from it. That time that could have been used to pursue my goals was lost. Even just being on the computer can be a time killer. The internet is a black hole! With just a little mental discipline, I can harness my motivation and do something great.
This week I was at a teaching conference. It was really a great learning experience, and I was with just a spectacular group of people. So smart, so kind, so cheerful. Don’t you feel great being around people like that (and doesn’t it make you more so yourself)? All that energy evaporated when I got home, and I found myself just so dead tired. I am still recovering from labral tear surgery, after all. Halfway through the week, after reading the introduction to that book, I knew I had to pull myself off the couch and get creative. The funny thing is that as I began cooking this vegan pasta recipe I had envisioned, I found myself regaining that lost energy. I went beyond preparing some food, using that time to clean, do dishes, and even made a phone call. Isn’t it funny how that works?
I decided to finally put my KitchenAid KSMPRA 3-Piece Pasta Roller & Cutter Attachment Set to use. I used to use a manual pasta maker with a crank, which required a lot of work and coordination. I’m always a little hesitant to add more gadgets to my kitchen, but this attachment is totally worth it. Within an hour, I had easily prepared this amazing vegan pasta recipe by myself. Doesn’t get better than that!
If you don’t have a juicer, you can buy beet juice at the store. You can also just use water if you don’t care about the fun color. There’s no real change in taste to the pasta, and of course the pesto can be made using the greens of your choice. The pesto recipe does make more than you’ll need, almost twice as much. I wanted to use all the beet greens, hence the amount, but I also wanted to freeze the leftovers for later use. Adjust amounts as you desire. If you bought extra beets, try some of my favorite beet recipes! These spiced beet berry donuts, this dark chocolate beet cake or a beet pesto flatbread would be the perfect use for those leftovers.
Whatever way you make it, I hope this meal brings you the same positive energy it brought to my evening.
Beet Pasta & Beet Greens PestoPrint Recipe
- 1 medium beet with greens (about 2 cups, packed)
- 2 cups AP flour
- 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 2 cups packed basil leaves
- 1 cup raw almonds
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 4 cloves garlic
- Zest and juice of one lemon
- 1/ cup olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
First, juice the beet. You should have around 3/4 cup beet juice.
Second, use a food processor to prepare the pasta. Add the flours into the processor and mix to combine. Slowly 3/4 cup beet juice through the shoot (about 1 tbsp at a time) while mixing. Dough will need to be slightly sticky. I found I needed an additional 1/4 cup water for my dough to fully form.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead slightly to form into dough. Dough will be tough, slightly sticky. Divide into to sections, form into balls. Cover in plastic wrap and allow to sit for 15-20 minutes.
Prepare the pesto. Clean out the food processor. Tear the beet greens from the tough stems. You'll need 2 cups, packed, less is fine. Add to processor and pulse until greens have lessened into volume enough to add basil. Add basil and pulse enough so greens are at a workable volume. Remove and set aside in a bowl. Add nuts, garlic, red pepper flakes, and lemon zest to the processor and process until finely chopped. Add in greens, mixing slightly with a spatula to aid the machine. Process, adding oil and then lemon juice slowly through the shoot. You may need to use the spatula to scrape sides to promote even processing. Salt and pepper to taste.
FIll a large pot with water and lots of salt (so it' nearly as salty as sea water). Bring to a boil while you are preparing your pasta. Form the first half into a rectangle, rolling it out slighty to about 1/2 inch thickness.* Place in pasta maker on widest setting. Carefully send through widest setting twice. Narrow opening using the lever, and run through carefully again. I continued until I reached the second to narrowest setting. Lay your sheet carefully on a lightly flowered surface. Cut the sheet into 1 foot ish sections to make more manageable. Repeat with other sheet.
Change to the "noodle" blade and run each pasta sheet through, carefully placing your had near the exit to support the noodlized sheet as it comes through. Put the noodles either on a drying rack (I used a cheap laundry rack) or lay them in a single layer out to dry.
Once all noodles are dry and water is boiling, place all noodles in water for 2 minutes.
Strain noodles. Place back in pot and toss in a little olive oil and the pesto (or serve pesto individually, your choice).
If you don't have a juicer, you can purchase beet juice at the store. The beet greens can be replaces with any other green (I'd recommend spinach). This pesto makes more than you'll need, freeze and store up to 3 months.