With our new hectic schedules I’m finding new ways to use my Sun Oven. I’m keeping a close eye on the weather forecast and trying to get as much solar cooking done on sunny days as I can. I’m concentrating on things that can be used to put together for weeknight dinners and for packed lunches. Over the weekend I solar roasted a big batch of beets. I knew they’d come in handy for salads and such but tonight’s pasta may be my all time favorite beet recipe. I found it on epicurious.com and even if the beets are the only part cooked in the Sun Oven it definitely deserves to be included on this blog.
Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Solar Roasted Beets, Brown Butter, and Poppy Seeds
1 pound beets, scrubbed clean
1/4 cup water
1 pound whole wheat spaghetti
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 heaping tablespoon poppy seeds
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup pasta water
1/4 pound goat’s milk cheese
Put the beets and 1/4 cup water in a large, dark, light-weight pot. Cover and roast in Sun Oven until soft, about 2 hours. Beets can be made up to 3 days in advance, store the cooked beets in the refrigerator in a covered container.
Prepare the sauce while the pasta cooks.
Peel the beets and cut them into chunks. Puree them in a food processor. Brown the butter in a 10-inch skillet over high heat, about 2 minutes. Add the poppy seeds and toast about 2 minutes. Add the beet puree, salt, and 1/4 cup pasta water to the skillet. Stir well.
Use tongs to transfer the spaghetti directly to the skillet. Stir to combine.
Divide pasta among 4 warm plates. Top each serving with goat cheese. Serve immediately.
The contrast between the rich redness of the beet sauce and the white cheese makes for a stunning presentation but next time, I think I’ll just stir the cheese in with the pasta in the skillet – unless I have guests I want to impress.