Tuesday, January 26, 2010

beet greens, pasta, and pancetta

*pancetta or bacon (I used 5 very thin slices of pancetta, chopped into pieces, because that's what I had - would be better with thicker slices of pancetta)
*garlic, chopped (depends on how much you like it - I used 3 medium cloves)
*onion, chopped (not much - I used two slices of a red onion)
*beet greens, coarsely chopped (I used from about six medium beets), but if you use the stems (I definitely do), chop them more finely because they take longer to cook
*sundried tomatoes in oil, chopped (maybe 2 T)
*pasta (about 2 c cooked)

Fry the pancetta. It has enough fat that you need not add other oil.

Fry until it's crispy and remove if you can (I couldn't), then add onion and garlic and saute until it softens. Then add the sundried tomatoes if you like (they have oil clinging which is a good thing now) and stir it all up and let it saute over medium-low heat until the greens are cooked enough to no longer be bitter (unless you're like me, and you like them a little bitter when combined with the sweetness of the sundried tomatoes) and the stalks aren't too tough.

Add pepper and salt to taste (and a dash of balsamic vinegar if you like).

Stir in the pasta and eat. Top with freshly grated parmesan or other similar cheese.

Substituting beans for pasta would be a healthy choice, but I'm about beaned out right now and I was craving the heartiness of some pasta. I used whole wheat pasta elbows because that's what I had, but any such shape would be good.

I LOVE beet greens - they're like chard with a special treat - and I always feel like I've gotten a super good deal because I can use the beets AND the greens. And with sun-dried tomatoes, a flavor combination I stumbled upon this year, they are phenomenal.

I wouldn't make this every week, but it was a great taste treat!

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