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Farfalle with Golden Beets, Beet Greens, and Prosciutto

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Serves 6

  • by Jeanne Kelley from Fine Cooking
    Issue 113

On a cool autumn evening, this hearty pasta dish really hits the spot. Sweet beet roots are complemented by salty prosciutto and rich Parmigiano-Reggiano; beet greens add great texture. If golden beets are unavailable, you can use red beets, but your pasta will turn pink.

  • Kosher salt
  • 2 bunches golden beets with healthy green tops
  • 6 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions, quartered lengthwise and sliced crosswise 1/8 inch thick
  • 6 oz. 1/4-inch-diced prosciutto
  • 8 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup lower-salt chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tsp. minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 lb. farfalle
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano; more for serving
  • Coarsely ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat.

Meanwhile, trim, peel, and halve the beets; then slice them into 1/4-inch-thick half-moons. Remove the stems from the greens and discard. Wash the greens, spin them dry, and slice into 1-inch strips.

Heat 2 Tbs. olive oil in a 6-quart Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions and prosciutto and cook, stirring often, until the onion is tender and browned, about 10 minutes.Add the garlic and stir for 2 minutes. Push the onion mixture to the sides and pour 2 Tbs. olive oil into the empty space. Add the beets and cook until just tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the broth, wine, and rosemary and simmer until the liquid evaporates and the beets are completely tender, 10 to 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, boil the farfalle until al dente, about 1 minute less than package directions. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water.

Scatter the beet greens over the beet mixture, drizzle with the remaining 2 Tbs. olive oil, cover, and cook until the greens are tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in the pasta and Parmigiano-Reggiano. If needed, add enough of the pasta cooking liquid to moisten. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with more Parmigiano.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 590; Fat (g): 21; Fat Calories (kcal): 190; Saturated Fat (g): 5; Protein (g): 25; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 12; Carbohydrates (g): 72; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2.5; Sodium (mg): 1410; Cholesterol (mg): 35; Fiber (g): 7;

Photo: Scott Phillips

This is a great recipe and especially good for colder weather. I roasted the beets before adding to the other ingredients. Worked perfectly. And roasting gives the beets more depth of flavor. I forgot to add the additional olive oil at the end but didn't miss it at all. I was thinking some pine nuts would add a nice crunch and now see another reviewer made the same comment!

I roasted the beets the night before thinking that I was going to make a beet and chevre salad, but decided to that I wanted to also use the greens in the same recipe because they were so fresh. Since the beets were already cooked, this expedited the dish significantly. I agree with the first reviewer that the dish could use some crunch (particularly since my beets were pre-roasted) - pine nuts would be nice as suggested or perhaps toasted walnuts. I am avoiding pasta, and this was a great side dish minus the farfalle.

Wow, I'm an instant fan. I made this during the summer but think it would function as an amazing fall dish. I would be hard pressed though to argue it's not equally delicious in summer. Maybe try with some toasted pine nuts to add a little crunch to the bite. I was truly surprised how the favors blend together to offer a delectable dish. I had not used beets before but didn't generally like them as a child - change it up I thought and give it a try - simply amazing. Can't wait to make this again.

Yum, yum! I found great golden beets at the farmers market just for this recipe, and what a lovely surprise: all the flavours work perfectly in this fantastic recipe. It took a little longer to cook the beets - I put the cover on the pan the first five minutes to speed the process. The pasta turned a beautiful golden yellow when I added them, and the beets and prosciutto work perfectly well together. The beet greens add the perfect touch of colour as well. I highly recommend looking for the beets and making this.

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