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Recipe: Roasted Beet Pesto Pasta Salad

Recipe: Roasted Beet Pesto Pasta Salad

Roasted Beet Pesto Pasta Salad
Yield: 3/4 cup pesto
Serves 12-16 as a side dish

2 small beets 
1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic gloves, roasted
zest of a medium lemon
juice from a half a lemon
2 pounds Semolina Artisanal Pasta Fusilli
mint for garnish

Heat oven to 375 degrees. (Can also be done on the grill.)

Meanwhile, peel and quarter the beets. Place on a baking sheet with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil, 1/4 tablespoon of salt. Wrap garlic cloves in aluminum foil with a pinch of salt and a drizzle of olive oil. Place on the baking sheet with the beets. Put both in the oven for 35-40 minutes, or until fork tender. Let cool.

While the beets and garlic are cooking, toast the almonds in a sauté pan over medium heat until golden, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Zest the lemon and juice half. Save the other half for another use. 

Pulse all the ingredients, except for the mint in a food processor until combined. Drizzle in the remaining olive oil and pulse until smooth. 

Season to taste.

Cook 2 pounds of pasta in heavily salted, rapidly boiling water. Drain. Mix in 1/4 to 1/2 cup of pesto to coat. Serve room temperature or cool, garnished with mint and more cheese, if desired. 

Note: This pesto goes a long way. Leftovers are great on grilled bread with a drizzle of oil and some freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.

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