Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Animal's Punk Pink Pasta

So, here we are in a drought, and the weather man says it's supposed to rain. WHY do I believe him?! I guess I'm just gullible like that. Anywho, it worked out alright because we did a lot of fun indoor activities, this being one of them: Jim Henson's Muppets ->, Animal's Punk Pink Pasta . I have come to the conclusion that whenever the day comes that I have children of my own... they will surely go hungry if they choose to be picky eaters. I wanted to introduce beets to the kids I've been watching and what better way to do so than with a plateful of bright pink pasta?! I thought it was completely delicious and, the kids did alright with it, although I think I dished up too large of portions for them. Oops. Try for yourself! It's pretty simple. Entirely fresh. Delicious. And nutritious!

Beets are the secret to this magical dish - they give the pasta a subtle sweet, but nutty flavor and the incredible, electric pink/red color. This dish is intended for getting picky kids to eat their veggies. 

You'll need:

For beet sauce: 
     -2 medium beets, peeled and quartered
     -1/2 of a small yellow onion, thinly sliced
     -1 tablespoon olive oil
     -1/4 teaspoon salt
     -4 teaspoons salt
     -2 tablespoons Ricotta cheese

For Animal:
     -cooked spaghetti
     -puréed beet sauce (see recipe above)
     -cherry tomato 
     -Mozzarella cheese
     -yellow pepper
     -Italian parsley
     -pitted black olives


1. Peel and quarter the beets. To keep the dye from staining fingers, peel beets under cold running water.

2. Place peeled, quartered beets in a medium saucepan filled with cold water. Bring to a boil and then simmer until tender, approximately 15-20  minutes

3. While the beets cook, heat the oil in a sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add the thinly sliced onion and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Sauté the onions until they are soft and lightly golden, approximately 10 minutes.

4. Strain the beets and let cool.

5. Purée cooled, cooked beets and sautéed onions in a food processor with 2 tablespoons of Ricotta cheese. 

6. Add salt and pepper to taste.

7. Cook and drain spaghetti.

8. Place cooked spaghetti in a sauté pan with beet sauce. Cook, stirring constantly over low heat until the sauce is heated through and the pasta is coated in sauce.

9. Place the pasta in the center of the plate.

10. Cut mozzarella 1/2" thick and then cut two oval shapes for the eyes. Trim the scraps of cheese into tiny teeth.

11. Lay Italian parsley on top of the pink pasta, as eyebrows.

12. Place mozzarella eyes topped with black olive pupils on top of the eyebrows.

13. Use cherry tomato for Animal's nose and a sliced yellow pepper for his mouth.

14. The mozzarella teeth should be placed above the yellow pepper mouth. 

Feel free to serve with shredded Parmesan cheese.

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