Linguine con Barbabietola, Zenzero, Finocchio e Limone
Linguini with Beetroot, Ginger, Fennel and Lemon
This eye-catching little dish of noodles has a nice story to it...
Since I have been writing this blog, I have a number of people that follow it and also that write to me on Facebook... which is very flattering and much appreciated. This morning, one such person mentioned how their mother, who is not a computer person at all, always enjoys being shown my recipes as they are so nice and colorful- so sweet! Also, the color pink was mentioned on a number of occasions... sooo... I decided to make a dish especially in pink and especially for that certain lady... yes- you know who you are!
I decided to use beetroot, as it is a great seasonal ingredient to use in the Fall and has a wonderful natural coloring... which brings me to my first and the most important point about making this dish- if you decide to do so- wear something pink! Or at least red! One false move and you will be covered in that juice!
So- all kidding aside- this was a very quick and easy dish to make. Yes, I did use those vacuum-packed, pre boiled beet roots. I have no problem with that- if you do- boil a fresh beet, knock yourself out. I used one beet per portion of linguini, which I grated coarsely. I cut a few slices off to use as a garnish too and set them to one side. Put your pasta on to boil according to the packaging instructions... which should be 8-10 minutes. That's plenty of time to do the rest of the prep work. I cut some fennel into fine cubes and grated some ginger finely, as well as crushing a clove of garlic. These were all of the aromatics that I used- apart from some grated nutmeg and Parmesan cheese. And I am going to tell you how to bring everything together right about now...
After maybe 7 minutes, whilst the pasta is still very al dente, drain it and return it to the saucepan, but add a cup of regular milk. No cream. There is no need for it at all as you will see. Add the grated beet root, the garlic, fennel and ginger and grate with nutmeg. Continue cooking and stirring and you will find that the pasta soon absorbs the milk and begins to thicken. Next step is the parmesan cheese, which goes in next with a drizzle of olive oil. This will give everything a nice sheen and will make the paste thick, saucy and smooth. Grate some lemon zest finely and add this, as well as a tiny squeeze of juice and a tiny squeeze of honey. And that's it!