Saturday, January 12, 2013

Fusilli Alla Crazy Bastard

Tonight's recipe was a hit in every way but one, and that one miss only really bothered the particular aesthetics of my husband.  His complaint was that the beet greens imparted an unnatural color to the goat cheese and that the resulting tint of sauce and pasta was a color not to be achieved in nature.  And while it is true that it looked unnatural, as a good wife, I refrained from pointing out that nature did achieve this color. (well refrained until he reads the post ;)  It was pretty easy too.  The steps were a bit many: two roastings in the oven at two temps, boiling pasta and sauteing the veggies and the prep work, but it still wasn't every time consuming.  If you plan it right, it comes together very quickly.  It takes some knowledge of you equipment.  For example, the pot I was using to boil the pasta in seems to take forever to come to a boil.  It is the only one but it was also the only appropriately sized vessel that was clean so it had to be used.  To keep it efficient I started the water first, so if you know the quarks of your kitchen, you should be able to whip this up in a snap.  It is also vegetarian and can be gluten free if you substitute quinoa pasta.  I also love that this is a recipe to use up the beet tops that often come with beets, but sadly get ignored.  I think they might be my favorite green. (them or kale:)  I used tri color pasta, but that wasn't called for in the recipe, and I don't know if that helped or hurt its over all look, but oddness aside, we loved it.

Fusilli Alla Crazy Bastard
1/2 Cup walnut halves
1 Pint cherry tomatoes
2 Tbl plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 Lb fusilli pasta
3 garlic cloves sliced
1/2 Lb beet greens rinsed and coarsely chopped
Pinch of crushed red pepper
1/2 Lb soft goat cheese thickly sliced
1/4 Cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano  cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 350. On a rimmed baking sheet, toast the walnuts
for 7 minutes, until lightly browned; let cool slightly. Coarsely chop
and transfer to a bowl
 2. Raise the oven temperature to 450. On the rimmed baking sheet, toss
the cherry tomatoes with 1 teaspoon of he olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon
each of salt and pepper. Roast the tomatoes for about 10 minutes, until
browned in spots.
 3. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the fusilli. Meanwhile,
   heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet. Add
the garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until
golden, 2 minutes. Add the roasted tomatoes, beet greens and crushed red
pepper and cook, crushing the tomatoes slightly, until the greens are
just wilted, 3 minutes.
 4. Drain the fusilli, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Add the
pasta, the reserved cooking water and the sliced goat cheese to the
skillet and cook over moderate heat, tossing to coat the pasta. Season
with salt and pepper. Transfer the pasta to a bowl, garnish with the
chopped toasted walnuts, top with the Parmigiano-Reggiano and serve

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