Beetroot, goats’ cheese, hazelnut & mint spaghetti

Beetroot, goats’ cheese, hazelnut & mint spaghetti
Serves: 4
  • 30g whole shelled hazelnuts, blanched
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 350g dried spaghetti
  • 115g beetroot (not in vinegar), peeled and cut into chunks
  • 125g soft goats’ cheese
  • 10 mint leaves, plus a few extra to garnish
  • 120g soft goats’ cheese log, rind discarded from each end and cut
  • into ½cm slices
  • good glug of olive oil plus extra to serve
  1. Put a kettle of water on to boil.
  2. Find a large saucepan (big enough for cooking the pasta). Place this saucepan on a medium heat, add the hazelnuts and toast them until brown and fragrant (about 5 mins) swirling them around so they brown evenly and don’t burn. Tip onto a board, roughly chop the nuts then set aside.
  3. Pour the water from the kettle into the pan, bring back to the boil, add plenty of salt and the spaghetti. Cook according to the pack instructions.
  4. While the spaghetti is cooking, put the beetroot, soft goats’ cheese and mint leaves into a small food-processor, Season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper and whiz into a smooth-ish purée. Check and adjust the seasoning accordingly.
  5. Drain the pasta in a colander (reserving a mug-full of its cooking water first) and set aside.
  6. Heat olive oil in the pasta pan and add the beetroot purée, followed by the pasta plus 1 tbsp or so of the reserved pasta water. Mix well and add a little more pasta water to achieve a looser (or your required) consistency if necessary.
  7. Divide the pasta between four serving bowls, dot with the goats’ cheese log slices broken up into smaller pieces, the chopped hazelnuts, a few mint leaves and a good swirl of olive oil. Serve.
  9. You can toast the nuts and make the beetroot purée up to 3 days in advance. Keep the nuts in a covered dish and transfer the beetroot purée to a bowl, cover and chill.
  10. TIP
  11. The beetroot purée makes a delicious dip of warm flatbread or vegetable crudités.


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