- 6 medium red beet roots – washed and trimmed
- ½ cup California Olive Ranch extra virgin olive oil
- 1 ½ tsp. caraway seeds
- 1 Tbsp. sea salt for the pasta water
- 1 lb. (450g) linguini
- 4 large garlic cloves – skinned and minced
- 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- ½ cup reserved pasta cooking water
- ¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh tarragon
- ¾ tsp. sea salt or to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Tarragon sprigs as garnish
- Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
Preheat oven to 450ºF. Place the beets in a medium baking dish. Fill the pan with ½-inch of water. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until tender. Remove from pan and set aside to cool to room temperature.
Peel the beets with the back of a knife. Using a mandoline, cut the beets in 1/16-inch julienne slices. (If you don’t have a mandoline, slice the beets crosswise in 1/8-inch slices and then cut them in julienned strips.) Transfer to a bowl and set aside. (Chef’s note: The beets can be prepared up to this point and refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days.)
Heat a large, non-stick heavy-bottomed skillet over high heat. Add the oil, caraway seeds and beets. Sauté for 10 to 12 minutes until the beets have caramelized, tossing from time to time (the beet slices will lose their moisture, shrink by half and look very dark around the edges). Remove from heat and set skillet aside.
Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil. When the water is boiling, add the salt and the pasta. Cook pasta until al dente. Drain well.
While the pasta is draining, return skillet to the stove and heat over high heat. When the beets begin to sizzle, add the garlic and vinegar. Sauté for 1 minute only, until the vinegar has completely evaporated and glazed the beet slices. Add the pasta, reserved pasta cooking water, fresh tarragon, salt and pepper. Turn off the heat and toss until the pasta is well coated with the sauce.
Spoon pasta in bowls. Garnish with tarragon sprig, drizzle with a little olive oil and serve immediately.
Chef’s note: Now and then I create a recipe that looks as delicious as it tastes. This linguini with roasted beets is indeed incredibly delicious, but I can’t help being totally mesmerized by the way the dish looks once plated. I’ve made this recipe many times for special dinners or holiday parties and the conversation at the table always comes to a halt the minute I bring out these colorful plates – a rewarding moment for any cook.
Recipe and photo courtesy of Viviane Bauquet Farre of Food & Style