Roasted Beet & Fennel Gemelli Pasta

pasta scaled

Want to change up your pasta game? Add a splash of colour and depth of flavour by adding in beets! Perfect for date nights or when you are craving something eye catching and delicious. 

2 tbsp (30 mL)    Canola oil, divided
1 pc                     Beet, medium, small dice
2 cup (500 mL)    Fennel bulb, thinly sliced, fronds removed for garnish
1 head                 Garlic, top removed
1 pc                     Shallot, small dice
1 tsp (5 mL)         Flour
3/4 cup (180 mL) Cream
1 tsp (5 mL)         Dijon mustard
1 tsp (5 mL)         Chili flakes
1 tsp (5 mL)         Salt
3 tbsp (45 mL)     Parmesan, grated (divided into 2 tbsp and 1 tbsp)
2 cups (500 mL)  Gemelli, cooked according to package instructions
1 cup (250 mL)    Frozen green peas
EQUIPMENT: Parchment paper, baking tray, aluminum foil, large pan, food
1) Preheat oven to 375F. On a parchment lined baking tray, drizzle diced beet,
sliced fennel and head of garlic (wrapped in foil) with 1 tbsp of oil (15 mL) and
bake  for 1 hour, or until fork tender. Set aside.
2) Meanwhile, in a large pan, over medium heat, warm remaining oil and saute
shallot until translucent. Add flour, mix well and cook for 30 seconds. Add in
cream, dijon mustard, chili flakes, salt and 2 tbsp (30 mL) of parmesan cheese
until mixture comes up to a light simmer and thickens. Stir out any lumps. 
3) Pour cooked cream mixture into a food processor, add in half of the roasted
beets and all of the roasted garlic – blend until smooth.
4) Over medium heat, return sauce to pan and add in cooked gemelli pasta and
frozen green peas. Stir well, until all the pasta is evenly coated and peas are
heated through.
5) Garnish with remaining half of roasted beets, roasted fennel slices, 1 tbsp (15 mL) of parmesan cheese and fennel fronds.
6) Enjoy!

Recipe by Leanne Soochan, nutritionist at The Big Carrot