On Fridays, we usually eat some sort of beef-based takeout (pre-NYC, this would often be a roast beef with sauce from Kelly’s) and we drink whatever beer we have on hand, then when the kid is in bed, we geek out on the best show on television, Battlestar Galactica. [And, if I may inject a little nerd commentary, last night? ZOMG BEST FRAKKING EPISODE EVAR!!11]
However, we’ve been kinda blowing our budget on takeout lately, so I rummaged around in the fridge yesterday and declared it Beet and Beer Night. (See what I did there? God, I’m clever.) And instead, I made pasta with roasted beets and blue cheese, adapted from Everyday Food.
Recipe and details under the cut.
- 2 pounds (I think) small red beets
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 pound fusilli
- 6 ounces blue cheese, crumbled (1 cup)
The recipe calls for steaming the beets, but I peeled the beets, tossed them salt and olive oil and roasted them in a 400Â° oven instead for about an hour. And after an hour, the beets were… firm, to put it kindly, so I diced them and returned them to the pan for another 10-15 minutes.
I added the next four ingredients with salt and pepper and found it a little flat. I tossed the beets in and I could see where it wanted to go, but something was still a bit lacking, so I added balsamic vinegar as well.
After the fusilli cooked, I reserved a cup or so of the pasta water and returned the pasta to the pot. I added about half the blue cheese — in this case, Bleu D’Auvergne — which melted almost instantly and coated the pasta. Then, I put the beets on top and added more cheese, as you see above.
For starters, if you’re not a fan of blue cheese (or you’ve gotten a funky overpowering blue), this is not for you. The Bleu D’Auvergne turned very mellow and creamy on the hot pasta but stayed sharp when it was crumbled on top. The beets were perfect: sweet and tart, which was great with the creamy pasta.
I do have to admit, after about half a plateful, as mellow as it was, I was feeling somewhat overwhelmed by the blue cheese — it just got to be too much for me, because evidently I think I like blue cheese more than I actually do. But I could easily see making this again with something creamy/melty other than blue: chevre, maybe, or an herbed ricotta, even.
Well, I’m off to the Taste of Chinatown — photos and details to come tomorrow.