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Sweet Red or Yellow Drunken Pasta


  • 2 bottles dry red wine, if using red beets, or 2 bottles dry white wine, for golden beets

  • 1 1/2 pounds red or golden beets

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

  • 2 large cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 pound thick spaghetti

  • 3-4 tablespoons chives, chopped, for garnish

  • Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, to pass at table


Place a large pasta pot over high heat and fill it with the wine (add additional water as needed to fill it up to your normal level for preparing pasta). Salt the liquid liberally and bring it to a boil. Clean the stem and root ends of the beets and reserve the greens to add to your salad. (Rub your hands with a little oil so the beets will not stain your hands and work on a rubber board so they don’t stain your counter.) Peel the beets with a vegetable peeler then grate them with a box grater. Give your hands a good wash, then place a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat with three turns of the pan of EVOO, about 3 tablespoons. When the pan is hot, add the beets and garlic and sauté until the beets are tender, 8-10 minutes. Once the beets go into the pan, drop your pasta into the boiling water and prepare it to al dente according to package directions. When the pasta is ready to be drained, reserve a mugful of the starchy colored cooking water and then go ahead and drain the pasta. Add a few splashes of the reserved water to the beets and toss the pasta into the pan with them. Season everything up with salt and ground black pepper, then turn it out into a serving dish and garnish with the chopped chives. Serve with some Parmigiano Reggiano at the table and enjoy!