Guest Blog: Roasted Beet + Kale Pasta with Carrot Top Pesto

There's something about getting your produce from the local farmer's market that is just so much more satisfying during the winter. It's the buzzy holiday cheer that ricochets off each tent as people meander, huddled together, holding on to their warm cups of coffee for dear life. It's the tables and tables of vibrant root vegetables, their leafy greens spilling over the edge of the table like overgrown ivy. It's knowing where your food is being sourced from and how it's being grown, and being able to look each farmer in the eye and ask them how their week has been and getting to know them by name. You load up your bags and baskets with every fruit and vegetable you see, eager to get home and clean, chop, and store them away for the week. 

Let me guess: this process involves you removing all of the leafy greens from the tops of your vegetables, and without a second thought, you toss them into the garbage, sure there is no way you could possibly incorporate them into your cooking.

Or can you?

Carrot greens, beet greens, and turnip greens are some of my favorite greens to use in omelettes, frittatas, and pesto. I love getting creative and figuring out ways to use every part of my beautiful veggies. And who doesn't love a good cleaned up version of pesto + pasta?

This delicious winter comfort meal utilizes carrot greens to make a flavorful, vegan pesto from scratch and is paired with garlicky roasted beets + simply sautéed kale, tossed with your favorite gluten-free pasta to come together as the ultimate warming, nourishing pasta dish, that leaves you feeling satisfied without the weighed-down, over-indulged feeling that often accompanies a big bowl of pasta. It's easy, quick, and requires minimal ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry and fridge! 

Roasted Beet + Kale Pasta with Carrot Top Pesto 

(Serves 4)

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For the pesto:

  • reens of 1 bunch of carrots, stems removed
  • /2 c packed fresh parsley or herb of your choice
  • /2 c olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic (I like roast my heads of garlic whole prior--just cut the tops off of the head, drizzle with olive oil, and roast on the same tray as the beets!)
  • /2 c nutritional yeast
  • 3 tbsp walnuts
  • alt + pepper to taste

ombine all ingredients in the food processor and blend until a smooth(ish) paste is formed. Makes quite a large amount of pesto--store leftover in an airtight container or mason jar in the fridge for up to one week.

 

For the pasta:

  • 2 c chopped beets (about 2-4 beets, depending on size)
  • 8 large kale leaves, de-stemmed and chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 8 oz. gluten-free pasta of choice (I use Jovial brand brown rice farfalle) 
  • 3 tbsp + 1 tsp olive oil, separated
  • salt + pepper, garlic powder

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Toss chopped beets with 1 tbsp olive oil + a few hearty shakes of garlic powder and sea salt in a large bowl before arranging on a baking tray. Roast for 15-25 minutes (with head of garlic if you wish!) or until you can easily pierce beet with a fork. Remove from oven and let cool. While beets are cooling, boil salted water in a large pot and add pasta. Cook for 7-8 minutes, stirring frequently, until pasta reaches desired tenderness. Drain, rinse, and return to pot. Set aside. Meanwhile, heat 1 tsp olive oil in a sautee pan and add kale and a heavy sprinkle of sea salt. Sautee only for a few minutes, until kale is deep green and wilted. Don't leave on heat too long, or you will end up with kale chips!

Putting it all together: Add beets + kale to pot of noodles, along with 2 tbsp olive oil and a bit of additional sea salt + pepper. Toss to combine and separate into 4 bowls. Top each bowl with a tbsp of your carrot top pesto. Dig in! 

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About the Author:

Soul + Spoon is a newborn recipe + lifestyle website geared towards inspiring others to fall in love with cooking and consuming whole foods, and also to develop a deeper connection with self, food, and community. I strive to create healthy, allergy-friendly recipes that taste as indulgent as they are nourishing. I firmly believe that all meals taste better when eaten out of a bowl, with a spoon (bowl food = soul food!).

RecipesDanielle Sobel