All month long, we've bombarded you with decadent macaroni and cheese recipes. While mac and cheese is delicious and comforting, with an excess of milk and cheese, it's not the healthiest pasta. That's why I thought it was time I share a light and fresh pasta like this rigatoni with ricotta and roasted beets.Don't be alarmed by the vibrant color, the beets stain the pasta pink. It may look unfamiliar, but it tastes earthy and thanks to the ricotta, slightly creamy. Roasted red onions and tons of spinach make this pasta hearty enough to serve as a main course. The alarming yet fun color would please the palate of children, especially around Halloween. To check out the recipe,
- 4 beets (about 3/4 pound), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 pound rigatoni pasta
- 5 cups baby spinach (about 8 ounces)
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- Grated peel from 1 lemon, plus 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- Preheat the oven to 450°.
- On a foil-lined baking sheet, toss the beets with 1 tablespoon olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Wrap tightly with foil and roast for 15 minutes.
- Unwrap, then arrange the beets in a single layer.
- In a small bowl, toss the onion with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with salt and pepper; arrange on the baking sheet. Roast, tossing halfway through, until tender, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the rigatoni and cook until al dente.
- Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking water. Return the pasta to the pot and toss with the spinach.
- In a bowl, whisk the ricotta, reserved pasta water, lemon peel, lemon juice and the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add to the pasta along with the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper; toss.
- Pasta, Main Dishes