A rich and colourful beetroot pasta recipe that’s perfect for a decadent dinner. This veggie take on a traditional ragu owes its colour and flavour to the mighty beetroot. Bathed in red wine the beetroot’s earthy flavour turns inconceivably meaty. You’ve got to try it to believe it.
The rich red wine sauce spooned over aldente pasta is a match made in heaven. One fork of this beetroot pasta and you’ll wonder why this hasn’t been a regular dinner staple. It’s a perfect dish for a special night or to impress a certain someone.
I love beetroot as much as the next man. However I do find that often my go to tactic for cooking the red root is just to roast it. Don’t get me wrong I love roast salty beetroot, in fact I have a many roast beetroot recipes on the site, just check out my recipe for roast beetroot and carrot lentils. However, I wanted to challenge myself to really bring it in the beetroot department.
I think this beetroot ragu delivered. I know I’m biased but I think this might be the best beetroot recipe I’ve tasted. It’s so rich and decadent it’s easy to forget you’re eating beetroot.
For this recipe I’ve used pappardelle pasta, but this ragu goes with all kinds of pasta. Why not try it with linguine or spaghetti for a bolognese style dish. Or use penne and bake with the beetroot lentils and some vegan cheese for a decadent seasonal pasta bake.
If you are struggling to find beluga lentils you can substitute them for puy lentils or regular green lentils. Try and avoid using split lentils as they will melt into the sauce and won’t give any texture.
When to eat
In the UK beetroot is in season from late summer until early autumn. Then it’s harvested, stored and widely available over the winter into early spring.
This meal is around 85% less polluting than the average UK meal.
- Eating this recipe will save around 2.48 KG CO2e per person.
- That’s equivalent to the emissions produced driving 20.51 KM in a modern car.
- 2 Medium Beetroot (peeled and roughly chopped)
- 2 Medium Onions (peeled and roughly chopped)
- 4 Cloves Garlic (peeled and roughly chopped)
- 2 Large Carrots (peeled and roughly chopped)
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- 2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
- 180 ml Red Wine
- 1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
- 1 Tablespoon Tomato Paste
- 500 ml Vegetable Stock
- 150 g Beluga Lentils (puy lentils work just fine as well)
- 1 (400g) Can Plum Tomatoes
- 1 Stick Cinnamon
- 300 g Dried Pasta (I like pappardelle or linguine)
- Add the chopped carrot, garlic, onions and beetroot into a food processor and blitz until the vegetables resemble rough breadcrumbs.
- Heat the 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Toss in the blended vegetables and fry for 3-4 minutes, stirring often, until the onions have softened and the moisture from the vegetables has dissipated.
- Next add in the dried oregano, tomato paste, flour and soy sauce. Fry the vegetables for further 30 seconds stirring to combine the spices evenly amongst the pan. Tip in the red wine and reduce until the wine has almost completely evaporated.
- Add in the lentils, stock, stick of cinnamon and plum tomatoes. Stir to combine, then cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
- When the ragu has around 15 minutes left, prepare your pasta to packet instructions. Cook until aldente, then drain and reserve.
- Once your ragu has simmered, uncover and season to taste. Divide you cooked pasta between 4 bowls and ladle over a good helping of the beetroot ragu. Finish with a sprinkle of the fresh chopped parsley and a drizzle more olive oil.