Pasta with Beet Greens and Raisins

Greens are not part of my culinary heritage. Mother didn’t cook greens – kale, chard, and collards were alien to her northern European Jewish background. She occasionally cooked spinach – not fresh but canned or frozen and cooked until vaguely slimy. I have fond memories of mixing slimy spinach with mashed potatoes to make it more palatable.

But I recently bought fresh beets, which were attached to, of all things, beet greens.

Now I have heard that beet greens are a delicacy, although I have never prepared them. Most of the recipes I found seemed to be for salad-y dishes.  But it’s getting a trifle cold for salad, and I wanted to use the greens for something heartier. This recipe, from Cooking Light, matched ingredients that I already had in the house (often a significant motivator for cooking a particular dish). I confess that the combination seemed a little odd: greens, raisins, pasta and nuts?  But it was surprisingly delicious, And also relatively quick to make.

Pasta with Beet Greens and Raisins

8 ounces uncooked ditalini (small pasta).  I used mini farfelle (bow ties)
¼ cup raisins
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 cups coarsely chopped trimmed beet greens
2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic
¼ cup slivered almonds, toasted
½ teaspoon  salt
1/8 teaspoon  black pepper
Cracked black pepper (optional)

Cook the pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain.

While pasta cooks, place raisins in a small bowl; cover with hot water. Let stand 10 minutes. Drain.

While pasta cooks and raisins soak, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add greens and garlic (I also added the almonds here so I didn’t toast them separately); sauté 3 minutes or until greens are tender. Stir in pasta, drained raisins, almonds (unless you have added them before), salt, and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper; toss with cooked pasta to combine. Sprinkle with cracked black pepper, if desired.  Makes 4 servings at about 9 grams of fat/serving.


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I have lost 200 pounds. I did not do it through surgery – I don’t like knives and needles – or by joining a club, vigorous exercise, or rigorous dieting. I did it by gourmet cooking. To be precise, by cooking low fat, really delicious food. I love to cook as much as I love to eat. Food magazines are some of my favorite reading. I would feel deprived if I couldn’t have the sensuous experience of good food crossing my lips. This blog is about my perpetual feast, my passionate love of food, with recipes, photos, and occasional advice and principles that I have learned along the way.

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