Beetroot, Goats’ Cheese, Hazelnut & Mint Spaghetti
This recipe creates the most strikingly coloured spaghetti, thanks to the beetroot, and it’s extremely tasty as well
- 30g whole (shelled) hazelnuts, blanched
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 350g dried spaghetti
- 115g cooked beetroot (not in vinegar), peeled and cut into chunks
- 125g soft goats’ cheese
- 10 mint leaves, plus a few extra to garnish
- good glug of olive oil, plus extra to serve
- 120g soft goats’ cheese log, rind discarded from each end and cut into ½cm-thick slices
- Put a kettleful of water on to boil.
- Find a large saucepan, big enough for cooking the pasta. Heat the dry saucepan on a medium heat, add the hazelnuts and toast them until brown and fragrant, about five minutes, swirling them around so they brown evenly and don’t burn. Tip onto a board and roughly chop, then set aside.
- Pour the water from the kettle into the pan, bring back to the boil, add plenty of salt and then the spaghetti. Cook according to the packet instructions.
- While the spaghetti is cooking, put the beetroot, soft goats’ cheese, mint leaves and some seasoning into a small food-processor and whizz together into a smooth-ish purée. Check and adjust the seasoning accordingly. It needs to be well seasoned. Drain the pasta in a colander (reserving a mugful of its cooking water first) and set aside.
- Heat the olive oil in the pasta pan and add the beetroot purée, followed by the pasta, plus a tablespoon or so of the reserved pasta water. Mix together well and add a little more pasta water to achieve a looser, or your required, consistency, if necessary.
- Divide the pasta between four serving bowls, dot with the goats’ cheese log slices broken up into smaller pieces, the chopped hazelnuts, a few mint leaves and a good swirl of olive oil. Serve.
Steps 2 and 4 can be completed up to three days in advance. Keep the nuts in a covered dish and transfer the beetroot purée to a bowl, cover and chill.
HINTS & TIPS
The beetroot purée makes a delicious dip for dunking strips of warm flatbreads or vegetable crudités into.