Mixed Beets & Salsiccia Pasta
Those mixed beets I used for making pizza last week really did it for me. I got another bunch at this week’s market to use with pasta. I knew I’d be dicing them very finely and either roasting them in the pan or the oven. I went for pan roasted because I didn’t want the fine cubes to burn in the oven.
I also went back to the Italian stall and got some fresh Toma cheese and a pair of fresh salsiccie. Normally the latter are sold out by the time I get to the market after work, but I had the day off and was there early and lucky enough to snag some, yay!
For the last month I’ve had this thing for bavette pasta; don’t know why but I just love them. I’m in the habit of breaking them in two so they’re shorter, which always earns me a wide-eyed stare and a how can you!? from a friend.
So – pasta, beets, Italian sausage and cheese. Not much more you need here except for a tiny amount of fresh rosemary, a bit of light brown sugar, and maybe a bit of garlic. I didn’t really need the garlic, and I’m glad I only used a tiny clove.
I love the earthy taste of the mixed beets in combination with the slightly fennel-y and hot salsiccia. The Toma cheese – which is quite soft when it’s fresh – fits in perfectly. You could, of course, use other softer Italian cheeses like mozzarella or scamorza.
By breaking apart the bavette, I got a normal sized portion and two lunch portions for work out of the amount I made.
The bunch of beets I bought consisted of 2 yellow beets, 2 chioggia beets and 1 larger white beet.
I used salt sparingly as both the salsiccia and the cheese were a bit salty already.
Mixed Beet & Salsiccia Pasta
250 g bavette pasta
1 bunch mixed beets [5 beets altogether]
8 rosemary needles
2 tsp raw cane sugar
freshly ground salt + pepper
150 g Toma cheese, grated
Cook pasta in salted water and prepare other ingredients while it cooks.
Peel the beets and dice very finely. Finely chop the rosemary needles.
Remove skin from sausage and chop sausage meat or pull apart with your fingers.
Heat oil in a frying pan, add the sugar, wait until it’s almost dissolved and add the diced beets. Fry until slightly browned, then add the chopped sausage meat and the rosemary. Cook for a few minutes more. Season with a little salt.
Drain pasta and either add to the pan, if there’s space, or divide among plates, top with the beet & salsiccia mix, grind some pepper on top, and add cheese.