Max La Manna’s Beetroot Bucatini
Bright and colourful, this creamy vegan beetroot pasta is topped with crispy garlic breadcrumbs, fresh basil and crumbled feta cheese.
From the book
Be amazed at how the beetroot turns the pasta a majestic ruby red in this creamy, vibrant dish. It’s enough to convince anyone that beetroot is incredible. Add the sauce to anything from salads to pizza to pasta. This is one of my favourite dishes in this book!
|bucatini, spaghetti or linguine
|feta, crumbled, to serve
|For the beetroot sauce:
|large beetroot, including the stems and leaves
|tbsp olive oil
|garlic cloves, finely chopped or crushed
|chopped parsley stems
|chopped fresh basil stems, plus basil leaves to garnish
|juice of ½
|For the crispy garlic breadcrumbs:
|garlic clove, grated or thinly sliced
|breadcrumbs (home-made from a stale loaf, or shop-bought)
You will need: a food processor or a blender.
Prep time: 15 min, Cook time: 25-35 min, Keeps: 1-2 days, Freeze: up to 1 month.
To make the beetroot sauce: bring a pan of water to the boil, add the whole beetroot and cook for 10–15 minutes or until tender. Drain the beetroot and set aside to cool for a few minutes, then cut into quarters.
Meanwhile, in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat, heat the olive oil and cook the onion, garlic, parsley and basil stems for 3–5 minutes until fragrant and soft. Remove from the heat; do not wash the pan.
Put the beetroot into a food processor or blender, add the onion mixture, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Pulse for 1 minute, then, with the motor running, stream in the milk. Blend on high speed until very smooth. If the sauce is too thick, add a little more milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, to loosen.
Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, add the bucatini and cook for 9 minutes or until al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving 4–5 tablespoons of the pasta cooking water.
Meanwhile, prepare the crispy garlic breadcrumbs. In a separate frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat, add the garlic and fry for 1 minute until lightly browned.
Add the breadcrumbs and cook, stirring frequently, until the breadcrumbs are lightly charred and fragrant, about 2–3 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
In the same frying pan used for the onion and garlic, add the cooked pasta and beetroot sauce and stir well over low–medium heat for 2 minutes. If too thick, stir in some of the reserved pasta water.
Serve the pasta in bowls or on plates, garnished with roughly torn basil leaves, crumbled feta cheese and crispy garlic breadcrumbs.
Use gluten-free pasta and breadcrumbs if you prefer.
Store any leftover pasta and garlic breadcrumbs separately.