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Beetroot Noodles with Goat’s Cheese, Toasted Walnuts and Baby Kale

This pretty dish looks and sounds impressive, but is super simple to make. Beetroot juice turns the pasta a vivid pink colour and adds an extra dimension of taste to the spaghetti. Make it tonight!

Introduction

I must confess the clever notion of cooking pasta in vegetable juice is not my own; I read about it in an American food magazine on the tube one evening and could hardly wait to get home and try it. As well as turning the noodles a shockingly lovely pink, the reduced juice lends them a sticky vegetable sweetness which works particularly well with creamy, lactic goat’s cheese and bitter toasted walnuts, though that first evening I used a tiny hunk of salty pecorino that had been falling from the fridge door with irritating
regularity for some weeks, and that worked just fine too

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Ingredients

200g spaghetti or other pasta of your choice
50g walnuts
300ml beetroot juice
4 big handfuls of baby kale or other young greens
100g soft goat's cheese

Method

Bring a large pan of well-salted water to a rolling boil, then add the pasta. Cook for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, toast the walnuts in a dry pan until aromatic, then roughly chop and set aside. Bring the beetroot juice to a simmer in a medium pan.

Drain the pasta and add to the pan with the beetroot juice. Cook for about another 5 minutes, until the noodles are al dente (exactly how long will depend on your pasta and your preferences) and the juice
is thick – be careful they don’t stick. If it does look a little dry before they’re done, stir in a splash more juice.

Stir in the kale to wilt, then season well to taste; the juice will be quite sweet, so it will be able to take a generous amount of salt and black pepper.

Divide between bowls and scatter with chopped nuts and blobs of cheese – the cheese can be stirred in by the eater, but it looks prettier pristine and white against the pink pasta. Serve immediately.

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