The second of my spring pasta blog posts this week - and could it be more beautiful?! To add to its beauty, this recipe is a little bit sweet (slightly drizzled with honey), a little bit savory (hearty sauce), a little bit earthy (beets), a little bit floral (fennel pollen), and a whole lot creamy (burrata) - it’s pretty much everything you want in a spring pasta dish and I can’t say I’ve had many pasta dishes better - even at the fanciest of restaurants! And it’s here for you - easy peasy- just in time for the weekend!
*** I did all three pastas in small, shareable servings so you can make a couple (or all three) of them and share as a date-night in. If you choose to just make one, you can double up the amount of ingredients for two large portions or four small portions. I suggest making all 3 for a Spring Pasta Dinner Party. They’re all make ahead, so all you’ll have to do is warm the sauce and boil the pasta to finish. Plus, all great at room temp (most good pastas are). I’ll have them all posted by the end of this week!
2 small servings, 1 large serving
2 small beets - tops and bottoms removed, peeled and cut into fourths
1/2 lemon - zested and juiced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon thyme leaves
Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper
4 ounces dried egg pappardelle
1 small ball Burrata
Fleur de sel, for sprinkling
Fennel pollen, for sprinkling
Honey, for drizzling
Borage or microgreen leaves - optional
Place beets in a medium saucepan and cover with water. Boil over high heat for 15 to 20 minutes or until soft enough for a fork to go through smoothly. Drain and set aside.
While the beets are cooking, boil the pasta in salted water according to the package directions but watch closely and test every few minutes. It usually takes half the amount of time it says on the package to get to al dente - you want pasta to still have a bite and not be mushy. Transfer pasta to a bowl, and reserve the pasta water.
Add the cooked beets to a food processor with the lemon zest and juice, olive oil, thyme, a heavy dash of kosher salt and pepper, and about 1/4 to 1/2 cup pasta water. Blend together at high speed until smooth, adding more pasta water as needed.
Pour sauce into the bowl with the pasta and toss together. Plate and top with Burrata, a heavy sprinkle of fleur de sel, fennel pollen, a drizzle of honey, and borage if using.
** Sauce can be partially made ahead and stored in the fridge for several days - blend the cooked beets together with all the ingredients excluding the pasta water. For last minute assembly, cook the pasta, add the pasta water to the food processor with the partially made sauce, blend until smooth then toss together with the pasta.