Spaghettini With Wilted Beet Greens and Feta
- Servings: 4.
This recipe makes quick and flavorful use of beet greens left over from buying bunches of beets from your Greenmarket or grocers.
The greens cook in the time it takes to boil the water and cook the spaghetti. For an even more satisfying dish, you can add small chunks of cooked beets that have been roasted or boiled in advance, along with the greens in the finished pasta dish.
While this recipe specifies spaghettini, it would work equally well with any long-strand pasta. For the feta, I prefer sheep's milk feta, and given the choice, Bulgarian feta for its soft texture and tangy taste.
- 3/4 pound spaghettini
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, thinly slices
- Pinch red pepper flakes (about 1/8 teaspoon)
- 2 bunches beet greens, washed and stems removed, and coarsely chopped to make about 4 cups
- 3/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled or cut into a small 1/4-inch dice
- Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Cook the spaghettini according to package directions, to al dente. Reserve about 1/4 cup of the pasta water.
- While the spaghettini is cooking, add the olive oil to a large sauté pan or skillet. Add the sliced garlic and hot pepper flakes and cook over medium high heat until the garlic softens and just begins to turn golden brown.
- Add the beet greens, lower the heat, give the greens a stir to coat in the hot oil and garlic, and cover for about 2 minutes to wilt.
- When the pasta is cooked, drain it and add to the pan of wilted greens. Toss to combine and so that the spaghetti strands get coated.
- Transfer to a warm serving bowl and sprinkle with the feta cheese. Toss gently to combine and to help the cheese to soften and combine with the pasta; if it seems dry, add a couple of tablespoons of the reserved hot pasta water.
- Serve immediately.