Written by Allison of Some the Wiser
I accidentally fell in love with cooking. I wasn’t born with a desire to be in the kitchen, to test recipes and experiment with flavors. In fact, I spent many years microwaving rice packets when I was left to cook for myself. It wasn’t until I had people to care for that my kitchen love story began.
It didn’t happen overnight. Rather, I found myself in the kitchen more and more, a necessary part of raising hungry children, and then one day I realized I had fallen in love. I realized I could make my home a happier place just by making breakfast, serving dinner, cooking with care.
I was recently reminded of just how much my time in the kitchen blesses my family and my own life when I had to rush my four year old to the hospital emergency room. In a moment of Peter Pan excitement, she had leaped and met with disaster. All’s well that ends well, and twenty-two stitches later she was fine. Fine, but it took a while for this mama’s tender heart to stop thumping.
It was the most dangerous excitement this house full of mild mannered girls has ever seen. It was also a jolting reminder of how many things I can’t protect them from, despite all my best efforts. There will bumps and bruises, broken hearts and failed dreams. It hurt to see my baby sedated and vulnerable last week, and I’m sure it is not the last life experience I will have to watch from the sidelines. That is the fate of being a parent.
Experiences like this are responsible for the love of cooking that I have been accidentally cultivating. As a mother, I can’t be there for everything and I can’t make everything right. I can, however, always be there for dinner and that can make everything better.
So, I give you this recipe for Roasted Beet and Garlic Pasta, because it’s good for your body and for your heart. It’s comfort food, the kind that makes my girls grin at dinner because the pasta is pink, and the kind that makes me certain that this job as mother-cook-chauffeur-toilet-scrubber is really a very good one.
|Roasted Beet and Garlic Pasta|| |
- 1 pound whole grain spaghetti
- 1 1/2 pounds red beets, trimmed and scrubbed
- 4 whole garlic cloves, peeled
- 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
- 1/2 cup toasted walnuts
- 2 tablespoons sun dried tomatoes, chopped
- freshly ground salt
- red pepper flakes
- 2/3 cup ricotta
- Prepare spaghetti according to package instructions. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water.
- Preheat oven to 400F. Drizzle beets with olive oil and wrap beets and garlic cloves tightly in foil. Roast until very tender, approximately 1 hour. After removing from oven, remove foil and let cool slightly. Carefully peel beets and coarsely chop.
- In a food processor, combine roasted beets, garlic, remaining olive oil, walnuts, and tomatoes. Pulse until smooth and creamy, adding reserved pasta water as needed. Season with salt to taste.
- Toss pasta and beet mixture until well combined. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes and serve with a scoop of ricotta on the side.
What compels you into the kitchen? Do you love it?