Campanelle with Beet Vinaigrette and Spinach Pesto

August 1, 2019

What better way to welcome the first day of August than with a quintessential summer dish: pasta salad. This recipe is inspired by Alex Guarnaschelli’s Farfalle Pasta with Beet Vinaigrette and Parsley Pesto, which we’ve loved and remade since the moment we watched Alex make it. Our version has all of the same flavors, but we use a few shortcuts with store bought pesto and pre-cooked beets. Starting with fresh beets like Alex does will provide for the most vibrant gorgeous red color, but swapping for already cooked beets like we do saves time and removes an extra pot on the stove. Fresh campanelle from Eataly is our choice of pasta here, but feel free to any dried pasta you already have on hand.

Campanelle with Beet Vinaigrette and Spinach Pesto

1-pound fresh campanelle, or any type of short pasta
5 store-bought beets, such as LoveBeets, sliced into cut into 1/2-inch slices and divided
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup store-bought spinach pesto
1/4 cup parsley
1/4 cup basil
Grated Parmesan or Romano cheese

1. Combine 1 beet, vinegar, salt and pepper in a food processor and process until smooth. Stream in the olive oil until emulsified. Taste for seasoning and set aside.

2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 1 tablespoon of kosher salt. Add the pasta and cook until slightly under al dente, about 4 minutes. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water.

3. In a sauté pan over a medium high heat, add two tablespoons of olive oil and the remaining sliced beets. Sauté to heat through, about 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the pesto and the beet vinaigrette and cook for another minute.

4. Add the pasta to the beets and toss to coat. If the sauce is too thick, add a ladle or two of the reserved pasta water to loosen. Add in the herbs and grated parmesan. Serve warm or at room temperature with more cheese on the side, if desired.