Beetroot, goats’ cheese, hazelnut & mint spaghetti
Author: Jane Lovett
- 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
- Put a kettle of water on to boil.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Drain the pasta in a colander (reserving a mug-full of its cooking water first) and set aside.
- 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.
- 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.
- GET AHEAD
- 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.
- The beetroot purée makes a delicious dip of warm flatbread or vegetable crudités.