Pasta with Basil, Beetroot, Carrots and Pine Nuts

Pasta with Basil, Pine Nuts, Carrots and Beets

Pasta with Basil, Pine Nuts, Carrots and Beets


Serves 4-5

1 kg of fresh beetroot and carrot Angel Hair or any dried store bought ribbon pasta of your choice


3 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 beets boiled peeled and diced

2 carrots cleaned and finely diced

2 tablespoons of celery stalks finely slivered into matchstick size pieces

4 tablespoon finely slivered fresh garlic

2 teaspoons hot pepper flakes or to taste

½ cup grated Parmesan

A bunch of fresh basil cleaned, leaves torn

½ cup toasted pine nuts

1 cup reserved pasta water


To Cook Pasta:

Bring a large stockpot or pateela of water and a half teaspoon of salt to a bubble. The pot must be spacious so as to allow the pasta to cook easily without sticking to each other. if you use fresh pasta your sauce must be ready at the same time because fresh egg pasta cooks much faster than store brought, commercially dried pasta noodles.Pasta should ideally be undercooked a minute, drained and tossed in a pan of hot sauce to complete the cooking. This allows the pasta to absorb the flavors of the sauce.

While the water boils prepare the sauce.

• Melt butter and olive oil in a large skillet on a medium flame.

• Add celery and carrots. Cook until they soften about 1-2 minutes.

• Add garlic and hot pepper flakes and sauté until fragrant.

If the pot of water is boiling add your pasta. If its store brought it will cook longer, if its home-made and fresh it will take less than 2-3 minutes. Add all the pasta, stir gently with a pasta tong or chappati tongs to separate noodles, you can also use a large fork. Cook about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. The thicker the pasta and the drier, the longer it will take to cook. You will need to pull out a noodle from time to time and take a bite to see how well it’s done.

Pasta should be al dente (to the tooth) when its served, just a bit undercooked with a little resistance when you bite into it.

In India’s warmer clime pasta cooks faster so I undercook mine by a minute and a half. This way by the time its been tossed with a hot sauce and carried to the dining table its still al dente.

Drain pasta completely in a large colander. Shake colander from side to side. Remember to save one cup of the pasta water.

• Add beets, pasta water and a teaspoon of salt to your sauce. Stir together so the ingredients are all well incorporated. Add your drained pasta and toss to coat evenly.

• Switch off flame and portions pasta into 4 bowls. Garnish with fresh basil, pine nuts and Parmesan.