Pasta with Beets and Blue Cheese
You can substitute two 16-ounce cans of whole beets for the fresh ones. Drain them and pat dry, then cut into wedges; continue with step 2. To remove beet skins, wait until the cooked beets cool, then rub off the skins using paper towels to protect your hands from the beet juice.
- 2 pounds small red or golden beets, scrubbed well
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- 1 pound gemelli, or other short tubular pasta
- 6 ounces blue cheese, crumbled (1 cup)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place beets in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish; add 1/2 cup water. Seal dish tightly with foil. Bake beets until tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp paring knife, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Let cool 10 minutes. Using a paper towel, rub off skins. Slice beets into wedges.
In a large bowl, toss beets with garlic, orange juice, oil, and coriander; season with salt and pepper.
Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, according to package instructions. Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup of cooking water. Return the pasta to the pot; toss with half of the blue cheese and enough reserved pasta water to coat pasta. Season with salt and pepper.
Divide the pasta mixture among plates; top with beets and remaining blue cheese. Serve immediately.