Yes you read that correctly…beet mac n cheese.
Now before you think I have gone crazy, just hear me out. I decided this delicious pasta can be deemed mac n cheese because it technically has 3 different types of cheese in it! And any time I can convince myself that mac n cheese is slightly healthy because of the super nutritious vegetable I blended in, then it will definitely be considered GUILT FREE mac n cheese. I like the sound of that.
Now can we please talk about the color of this sauce? It is sooooo pretty and so pink!! Who doesn’t want to eat pink pasta on Valentine’s Day? The sauce is so easy – 5 ingredients!! Then top it with pistachios and goat cheese because beets and goat cheese LOVE each other, especially on Valentine’s Day.
I learned to love beets and their color once I learned how easy they are to make. Everyone talks about roasting them (that was actually what I learned in culinary school) but honestly that just seems like a big pain. I get the exact same texture and flavor from boiling the beets. And you can always roast them after they are boiled and pretty and easy to handle. After they are tender enough to pierce with a fork from boiling, throw them in an ice bath or run under cold water and they are so easy to peel! These are a great veggie to prep at the beginning of the week to have on hand for salads or dinners during the week.
But today…you should make this mac n cheese because it is pretty and pink and everyone loves cheese!
Beet Mac n Cheese
makes 2 servings (can easily be doubled)
2 small beets
6 oz cream cheese, softened
1 TBSP dijon mustard
1/2 lb pasta
1/2 C shelled pistachios
1/2 C Parmesan cheese
2 – 4 oz goat cheese (depending on preference)
Cut stems off of beets and boil for 30 – 45 minutes until fork tender. Drain beets and place in ice bath or run under cold water until cool enough to handle. Take paper towel or a dish towel and rub off the skin. If you wash your hands quickly they won’t stain (but the towel might).
In a food processor, blend beets, cream cheese, dijon, juice from lemon. Stop occasionally and scrape down sides and allow to process until very smooth.
While you make the sauce, boil pasta according to package directions in salted water. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water before draining.
Drain pasta and combine with sauce back in pot and stir in Parmesan. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Slowly add a little reserved pasta water at a time if needed to thin sauce.
Top pasta with crumbled goat cheese and pistachios!