Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Beet & Red Cabbage Pasta

It's only the middle of the week, but once again, I'm overwhelmed and exhausted.  I just got home from our volleyball game (we won all 3 games, woohoo!) and I've got a full night of studying ahead of me.  And I'm no where close to sitting down to study and it's already 7:30 pm.  Yeah, I'm a procrastinator.  And the start of the NFL regular season doesn't help either (mucho distractions!).  Nor does having 3 tests back to back for the past 3 days.  The only thing I've got going to for me right now is the fact that I go on vacation in less than a month!  It's only to my brothers wedding... but the wedding is in Florida... and it's on a beach.  So hey, I call that a pretty freakin' awesome vacation.

I've been toying around with my new lense... it's got a higher mm so the zoom and frame of the picture is a little more closed in.  Plus it's got a macro setting on it which I'm majorly excited about, but still trying to learn.   Any good tips, anybody?  So bare with me for the next couple of new posts because my pictures will probably be sporatic and amateur, but hey... we all have to start somewhere.

Me and blue cheese have been at war.  I know blue cheese is supposed to be so amazing and so wonderful, and I keep trying recipe after recipe after recipe... and come up so-so or so really bad every time.  I just don't feel like a proper foodie if I don't like blue cheese... a.k.a. the "stinky cheese," as Andy would call it.  What about you guys?  What is your take?  Is it really an acquired taste?  Or am I just not using good enough blue cheese?  Anyway, this is one of those blue cheese recipes that is just so-so... if you like Gorgonzola, then I'm sure you'll love this, but if you're still on the fence about blue cheese, like I am, I'd just omit it and it's a pretty solid dish!

Adapted from Bitchin' Camero's recipe

2 cups elbow macaroni/spiral pasta (I didn't have enough of any certain one, so I mixed the two)
8 slices Pancetta, chopped
3 golden beets, peeled and cubed
1 & 1/2 cup beef stock
2 tablespoons olive oil
juice from 1 lemon
6 oz. crumbled Gorgonzola cheese (optional)
1/3 cup pistachios, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup red cabbage, shredded
salt and pepper, to taste

Heat a large skillet under medium high heat, and add pancetta.  Cook until pancetta starts to brown, about 5 minutes.  With a slotted spoon, remove the pancetta and set aside on paper towel-lined plate, leaving any grease in the pan.

Add the beets, cabbage, and garlic to pan.  Saute for about 1 minute and add in beef stock.  Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer.  Simmer for about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions for al dente.  Drain pasta and reserve about 1/2 cup of the pasta water.

Toss the pasta in with the beets and cabbage along with lemon juice.  Heat for about 1-2 minutes.

Stir in pasta water, olive oil, and gorgonzola (if you're adding it).  Toss until everything is well combined.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste. 

Serve right away with chopped pistachios as a garnish. 

This may have been even better with different cheeses as well, maybe some classic Parmesan, or Romano, or a combination of the two.  It was pretty good, but the Gorgonzola was a strong flavor and somewhat overpowered the dish, but all-in-all a decent dish.  Just needs some tweaks.  You could definitely make it vegetarian-friendly by omitting the pancetta and just cooking the vegetables in some olive oil or whatnot.  Anyway, enjoy... and I'll be spending the next few hours studying Molecular biology... aren't you jealous?!

P.S.  This weeks CSA... first shots featuring my new lense (like I said, be forgiving because my lighting wasn't that great and I'm still working on good angles!)

2 lbs. potatoes
2 acorn squashes
2 hot peppers
2 lbs. apples
1 fresh baguette
1 canteloupe
fresh garlic


  1. I think you and me both are wishing we were going on vacation tomorrow! It has been a long, tiring week. Thank you for still posting such a yummy pasta recipe. I loved seeing those apples in your CSA box too!

  2. I love blue cheese but do not associate it with being a foodie. I just grew up surrounded by a lot of smelly cheeses (because my mom and dad are both fanatics) and guess I just got used to it from an early age. So people just have different tastes...don't listen to food snobs!

  3. I absolutely adore blue cheese (and often eat entire wedges of it in one go... it's good 'cause there's calcium, right?!) but I also believe that has nothing to do with being a "foodie". You just keep on making and enjoying delicious dinners like this, sans stinky cheese, and we'll all still think you're a fantastic cook 'n' eater ;)

  4. Love the blue cheese. On everything . . . and by itself! I'm not sure if its an acquired taste. As a child, I thought blue cheese salad dressing was the BEST. There are lots of milder versions, too which are just as nice. Nice work with the new lens. I just got a new camera and lens also - its definitely a little awkward at first! The pasta looks yummy, I love the contrast of the green pistachios! Cheers, Michelle

  5. I'm so glad you said that about blue cheese. I feel the SAME way. I just don't really like it that much. I'm working on it, but it's a slow go.

    As for your new lens, congrats! I've been wanting a macro lens for a while. snif snif. :) My best advice is use a tripod and natural lighting, though you probably already know that. Oh, and play around with your composition exposition...changed my life. Seriously!

  6. Hmm... pistachio nuts being used here. I used lot of pine nuts for my version. Nice recipe.! :)



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