You only need a handful of everyday ingredients to make the most gloriously vibrant, pink pasta of dreams. Pre-cooked beets cut the prep time right down so you can have this on the table in 15 minutes. Blitzed with feta, cream cheese and garlic, it makes a serious statement at the table.
How beautiful is this sauce!? Not only does it make a serious dinner party showstopper, it feels (and looks) indulgent and luxurious, but it’s actually packed full of nutrients thanks to the beetroot.
So smooth, silky and so naturally vibrant, this very easy (and fast) pasta recipe is FAB for dinner parties and entertaining and is a lovely option for a date night or girl’s night in. Plus, the bright colour makes it fun for kids to enjoy (and I promise it doesn’t taste too beetroot-y).
Just blitz up a quick sauce while your pasta cooks, then mix the two together. It really couldn’t be easier – 15 minutes, from start to finish.
There’s nothing fancy in this lovely pasta dish – you’ll be able to find everything at a regular grocery store – and you probably have most of the ingredients already.
- Beetroot (beets). We’re using ready-to-eat beetroot here for ease and speed – you can find these in the veggie section of the grocery store. You can also find them jarred, but make sure they’re not in vinegar. That will impact the flavour of the sauce and make it very acidic.
- Feta. This forms the base of our lovely sauce. Go for a high-quality, creamy feta here – it will blitz up more smoothly. It will also blend more easily if it’s at room temperature, but that’s a nice to have if you’re in a hurry.
- Cream cheese. This just helps to create a lovely smooth finish to the sauce. You can use low-fat cream cheese, or sour cream, creme fraiche, heavy (double) cream or a plant-based alternative. Greek yogurt isn’t a good substitute here because it will split when it’s heated and you don’t want grainy pasta sauce.
- Pasta. Go for your favourite shape here. I’m using rigatoni and I love how the sauce clings to it, but any will do so just use whatever you have to hand.
How to make it
Get your pasta into a large pot of salted, boiling water and cook until al dente. While that’s happening, blitz your beetroot, feta, cream cheese, garlic, lemon juice and salt into a lovely smooth sauce.
Drain your pasta, but set aside 1 cup of cooking water. Pasta cooking water is the secret o a gorgeous silky sauce, thanks to the starch that’s come from the pasta itself. Add the pasta back into the pot you cooked it in, then pour over your pink beetroot sauce, along with 2 tablespoons of the cooking water Toss to combine well – you want each piece of pasta to be well coated in sauce.
Scatter the grated parmesan on top, then mix it through the sauce. Add a little more pasta water to loosen it up – you want it to be more liquidy than you’d serve it in the pan because the pasta will continue to absorb the sauce the longer it sits. That way, when you’re ready to serve, your sauce should be at the perfect silky smooth consistency.
Divide your pasta between plates, then top with crumbled feta, dukkah and thyme, and enjoy right away!
Got a question?
You can roast your own beetroot if you like (though it will add a lot of time to the recipe). Wrap two large beetroot in aluminium foil, then pop them into the oven at 200C/400F for about 50 minutes. Check them near the end – you should easily be able to pierce them right through with a knife. If you can, they’re ready to use. Once roasted and cool enough to handle, you should be able to remove the skin with your hands easily. If you can’t, you likely need to cook them a little longer, so pop them back into the oven.
I recommend not using Greek yogurt – it will split when it’s heated with the pasta and will make the sauce grainy. Instead, swap it with sour cream, creme fraiche or regular heavy cream (or plant-based alternative).
This pasta is best served right away – it will keep absorbing the liquid as it sits, which will bloat the pasta and change the texture. It’s still fine to eat (and to be honest, I do), but if you’re serving it to guests I recommend making the pink sauce ahead of time (this will keep well for 5 days in the fridge), and then just cooking the pasta and tossing with the sauce to serve.
Watch how to make it
Like this recipe? Complete your pink menu with these ideas
If you make this recipe, I’d love to hear from you! You can leave me a comment below.Print