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Photo: Brian Woodcock; Styling: Cindy Barr Photo by: Photo: Brian Woodcock; Styling: Cindy Barr

Golden Beet Pasta with Basil-Almond Pesto

Embrace April's 12 Healthy Habits goal with a whole-wheat pasta bowl. This bright, earthy springtime dish uses the entire beet--stems, leaves, and all.

Cooking Light APRIL 2013

  • Yield: Serves 4 (serving size: 1 1/2 cups)
  • Hands-on:29 Minutes
  • Total:29 Minutes


  • 8 ounces uncooked whole-wheat penne (tube-shaped pasta)
  • 2 (8-ounce) golden beets with greens
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 3/4 cup water, divided
  • 1/3 cup organic vegetable broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup dry-roasted unsalted almonds
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 ounces fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice


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

2. Remove greens and stems from beets; rinse and drain. Coarsely chop greens and stems to measure 4 cups. Peel beets, cut in half vertically, and cut into 1/8-inch slices.

3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add beets; sauté 3 minutes. Add beet greens and stems, 1/2 cup water, broth, salt, and pepper; cover. Reduce heat to medium; simmer 8 minutes or until beets are tender.

4. Combine remaining 1 tablespoon oil, basil, almonds, and garlic in a food processor; process until smooth. Add cheese and remaining 1/4 cup water; process until blended. Add pasta, pesto, and lemon juice to beet mixture; toss to combine.


MyRecipes is working with Let's Move!, the Partnership for a Healthier America, and USDA's MyPlate to give anyone looking for healthier options access to a trove of recipes that will help them create healthy, tasty plates. For more information about creating a healthy plate, visit www.choosemyplate.gov.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 419
  • Fat: 16g
  • Saturated fat: 3.1g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 8.6g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 2.1g
  • Protein: 15.7g
  • Carbohydrate: 55.7g
  • Fiber: 10g
  • Cholesterol: 9mg
  • Iron: 4.2mg
  • Sodium: 596mg
  • Calcium: 254mg

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Golden Beet Pasta with Basil-Almond Pesto recipe