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Goat Cheese makes a Sassy Simple Sauce

This could be the fastest sauce in the West. Because soft goat cheese makes a Sassy Simple Sauce. All you have to do is stir the soft cheese and some of the pasta cooking water into the hot pasta–and it’s ready to go. Here we have tortellini pasta, plus roasted yellow beets and their greens–and the sassy simple goat cheese sauce. So easy. And delicious!

Tortellini Pasta with Golden Beets and Greens in a Goat Cheese Sauce

We visited our friends in South Lake Tahoe over Labor Day weekend. John and Julie planned 3 full days of fun for six of us–another couple from Salt Lake made the trek as well. We all enjoyed plenty of boating, hiking, biking, dining and toasting to golden and dear friendships.

Early Tuesday morning, east bound back to Utah, we stopped at Trader Joe’s in Carson City. We picked up road salad and some hoppy microbrews, and yes, we brought the beer home–no sampling in the car. We also grabbed a roll of goat cheese and a couple bags of TJ’s dried Italian tortellini–and a few other essentials. (Have you ever noticed how fast a Ben Franklin disappears in Trader Joe’s?)

8 hours later, on the way into town, we picked up our Ranui Gardens CSA box. At home, we popped the golden beets into the oven to roast, saving the beet greens in a jar. The next day I wilted the beet greens with garlic and hot pepper flakes, and boiled up the tortellini. I added chopped roasted golden beets and turned the goat cheese into a simple sassy sauce.

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Goat Cheese makes a sassy simple sauce
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Goat Cheese makes a Sassy Simple Sauce
Tortellini Pasta with Golden Beets and Greens in a Goat Cheese Sauce
Ingredients
  • 1 bunch golden beets
  • 1 ½ cups dried cheese tortellini
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves , minced
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 6 ounces fresh goat cheese
  • Real Salt , as needed
  • 1/3 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
Instructions
  1. Roast the beet the day before so they are ready for this quick meal.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut the beet greens from the beets. Stick the beet greens in a jar with some water, cover with a plastic bag and store in the refrigerator.
  3. Place the beets themselves in a casserole dish with a lid. Add about 2 tablespoons of water to the dish. Cover and roast about 45 minutes, until the beets are tender enough to pierce with a fork. Let cool.
  4. Wash the beet greens. Trim away the stems. Chop the greens in ribbons, about 1/2 –inch wide. Set aside.
  5. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add several teaspoons of salt and stir in the tortellini.
  6. Cook the tortellini according to the package instructions; for Trader Giotto’s tortellini it is 15 minutes.
  7. Drain, saving about 1 cup of the pasta water.
  8. Meanwhile heat the oil in a large skillet on low heat. Stir in the garlic and pepper flakes and cook, stirring about 5 minutes.
  9. Place the beet greens on top, cover with a lid, and heat until the greens have wilted and shrunk, 5 to 8 minutes.
  10. Slip the skins from about half of the roasted beets and cut them into pieces about ½-inch wide.
  11. Stir the goat cheese into the greens and garlic, along with about 2/3 cup of the reserved pasta water, breaking it up with a spoon, and stirring to make a sauce.
  12. Gently stir in the tortellini and the beet pieces and cook just until they are heated through, adding more pasta water if needed.
  13. Season with salt to taste.
  14. Sprinkle with the pumpkin seeds just before serving.

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3 comments

  • Julie

    Letty, The golden beets and greens and tortellini sounds delishous. We are going to make the spinach frittata with goat chees again. That turned out well. -like that hike we did through Hope Valley. Lots of love, Julie Reply · 7 September, 2012

  • That sounds so delicious! mmmm, it may find it’s way to our table tonight. Reply · 8 September, 2012

  • […] I had thought to make this penne with greens both gluten-free and vegan. Brown rice pasta keeps it gluten-free. As for the vegan plan, that went by the wayside. Just before the skillet went on the table, I stirred in a smidgen of goat cheese. I love how soft goat cheese gently coats the pasta and greens. Like my tortellini with greens, recipe here. […] Reply · 30 June, 2014

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