A Spicy Perspective

Beet Pesto Pasta

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Thanks to Heather Christo, I’ve got a bright lovely pesto pasta recipe for you today, made with beets!

The kitchen remodel is still underway and, of course, the closer it is to completion the harder it is to wait. I’m trying my best to stay out of the way, but every time I walk by the kitchen I want to step in and just gaze at the beauty …the contractor doesn’t seem to like that.

Another sweet friend is here to share something wonderful with you.

Heather Christo is a culinary rockstar featured in multiple magazines, on TV, and on her blog HeatherChristo.com. She loves to garden and entertain, and makes the most innovative dishes.

Jaw-dropping dishes her little girls will even eat–that’s impressive.

Heather Christo's Generous Table cover-2

Heather recently published a new cookbook, Heather Christo’s Generous Table. This books is filled with menus that center around celebrations and events we all experience through the seasons.

Heather describes it best in her own words…

And thank you so much Heather for being here today!

Beet Pesto Pasta

Hi everyone! My name is Heather, and Sommer is being so sweet to let me guest post today. I’m a wife and mama to two little girls and live in Seattle (aren’t we Asheville’s “sister” city??) I ramble on about food, entertaining and family over at HeatherChristo.com, and my very first cookbook is out this month (eek!!)

Beet Pesto Pasta

When I tried to decide which recipe to share with you, it was my 5 and 3 year old daughters that came to the rescue. They emphatically said “the pink pasta, the pink pasta!!” Um, what that really means is Beet Pesto Pasta.

It’s an earthy, garlicky, lemony puree of glorious fuchsia beets, and it is in fact STUNNING not to mention really delicious. I mean, there is no way my kids would sit down to a plate of beets. But when a big bowl of this “pink pasta” is placed in front of them, they just gobble it up!

Beet Pesto Pasta

And for those of us that do like (or love) beets, this is a really wonderful treat. I will serve it with a big salad if I am going for a vegetarian meal, or it pairs really well with salmon or pork.

Beet Pesto Pasta

This pasta makes me think of spring, even if only for the color. And aren’t we all craving a little Spring by now?

And the best part for those of us without a ton of time to spare? It is so easy! To make this Beet Pesto Pasta, this is what you do:

First you bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil and add the beets. Boil until fork tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Then you drain and rinse the beets with cold water and, using your fingers, rub the skin off the beets.

Beet Pesto Pasta

Chop the beets into quarters and place them in the bowl of a food processor. Add the garlic, pistachios (or almonds), lemon juice and olive oil.

Beet Pesto Pasta

Pulse until you have a smooth bright pink spread, and transfer to a bowl.

Beet Pesto Pasta

Using a spatula, fold in the Parmesan and season with salt. Set aside.

Beet Pesto Pasta Beet Pesto Pasta

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the spaghetti to al dente,
according to package directions. Rinse the spaghetti with cool water and drain well. Toss the spaghetti with the pesto and serve immediately. Garnish with extra Parmesan (and the chopped pistachios if desired).

Beet Pesto Pasta

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Beet Pesto Pasta

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
This Beet Pesto Pasta is earthy, garlicky, and lemony perfection that is absolutely stunning, and not to mention, delicious!
Servings: 6


  • 3 large purple beets tops trimmed
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup whole raw pistachio nuts plus 2 tablespoons chopped, for garnish (sub peeled almonds)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 pound spaghetti


  • Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil and add the beets. Boil until fork tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Drain and rinse the beets with cold water and, using your fingers, rub the skin off the beets. Chop the beets into quarters and place them in the bowl of a food processor. Add the garlic, pistachios, lemon juice and olive oil and pulse until you have a smooth bright pink spread.
  • Using a spatula, fold in the Parmesan and season with salt. Set aside.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the spaghetti to al dente, according to package directions.
  • Rinse the spaghetti with cool water and drain well. Toss the spaghetti with the pesto and serve immediately. Garnish with extra Parmesan and the chopped pistachios.


Beet Pesto: Heather Christo’s Generous Table by Heather Christo © 2013 Kyle Books.


Serving: 1serving, Calories: 512kcal, Carbohydrates: 65g, Protein: 19g, Fat: 20g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 15mg, Sodium: 292mg, Potassium: 444mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 200IU, Vitamin C: 7mg, Calcium: 221mg, Iron: 1.9mg
Course: Pasta
Cuisine: American, Italian
Author: Sommer Collier

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109 comments on “Beet Pesto Pasta”

  1. Pingback: 30 Minute Pesto Penne with Chicken and Cherry Tomatoes + My New Design! - The Food Charlatan

  2. As good as it is gorgeous

  3. Pingback: 30 Minute Pesto Penne with Chicken and Cherry Tomatoes + My New Design!

  4. Pingback: Beet Pesto Pasta w/ Sautéed Kale & Leeks | Comprising Kendra

  5. Such great color! I had the chance to meet Heather this weekend — she is beautiful inside and out! So excited for this cookbook.

  6. Love the color

  7. I LOVE creamy, alfredo pastas…so naughty! If Im trying to eat a little healthier, pesto is a close second!

  8. my favorite pasta dish is roasted cauliflower, pine nuts with a balsamic vinegar $ butter reduction over angel hair pasta. you can substitute roasted broccoli or asparagus in place of the cauliflower.

  9. not italian, but i love my pasta! chicken, broccoli ziti is the best. i try to use whole wheat penne & a lighter cream sauce for a healthier, but still tasty option

  10. I made a sweet pea and swiss chard manicotti once….I loved it but it was so time consuming I’ve yet to make it again!

  11. I love tossing whole wheat pasta with garlic and crushed red pepper flakes i sauteed in olive oil. Top with some shaved parmesan. Simple and so yum!!!

  12. This looks wonderful!!! Beets are one of my favorite vegetables…

  13. I love Beets! My favorite is Beet soup- Tastes like heaven in a bowl !

  14. We love Ina’s weeknight bolognese. I make it in a double batch and freeze half. Ot never lasts long!

  15. What a fun recipe. I love using natural ingredients to color food – what a great idea to serve a red-coated pasta! Yum!

  16. I could eat pasta everyday! I love it with lemon, it’s quick and easy. I love beet pasta it’s yummy and pretty :)

  17. I love all kinds of pasta, and always have. In the colder months, it is usually gnocchi with lots of comforting cheese. Spring brings asparagus and mushrooms with a light sprinkling of asiago. Summer-good old macaroni salad, and in the fall I make a sauce from butternut squash to top my pasta.

  18. fave pasta dish is shrimp scampi

  19. fresh pesto, spaghetti, garlic, pancetta & tomatoes :)

  20. I love pasta with sauteed zucchini, tomatoes, garlic and basil :)

  21. I love cold pasta salad. Congrats to Heather on the book! Love her blog.

  22. Congrats to Heather on her cookbook! Love the trailer and this beet pesto pasta looks brilliant!

  23. I just can’t love beats, no matter how hard I try. But Heather’s book is gorgeous!

  24. Wow, hard to pick a fav pasta. I love lasagnas, but never turn away mac and cheese, penne with any sauce… :)

  25. Oh my, I love pesto so much :) This looks beautiful!

  26. Shrimp Scampi over Linguine.

  27. My favorite pasta recipe is stuffed shells–I just love them! With a little lemon zest.

  28. I have to try this recipe!

  29. I love buffalo chicken mac and cheese!

  30. Congrats Heather; this is the first time I’m seeing your book; SO amazing!!! Can’t wait to read it. xo

  31. This looks delicious! I love homemade pasta with simple egg noodles and a marinara sauce with fresh herbs and lots of garlic.

  32. I love basil pesto and pasta carbonara. I would like to try this beet pesto some time. Thanks for the giveaway!

  33. I love beets and this is an original way to use them. Thanks

  34. Thank you Sommer for the gift of your delightful guest blogger today. Heather, I absolutely never had beets with pasta, and this will be next on the weekend menu for sure! Dying to try it. I come form a northern Italian family, so risotto is a big deal, but pasta is as well. I love the traditional northern talian recipes, but I do love Putanesca for the kick!. Congratulations on your upcoming book. I do hope I’m a winner!

  35. My favorite pasta recipe is good, old fashioned macaroni and cheese. It’s the perfect comfort food any time of the year!

  36. I made this last night and it was fantastic! I had beets on the verge of death and I found this and presto PESTO! My 6 year old LOVED, LOVED, LOVED it.

  37. Beet pesto! That’s genius! I love beets, but not everyone in my family does. This might just be the perfect compromise! Thanks for sharing. I can’t wait to try this!

  38. How gorgeous is this pasta?! I think my favorite pasta is pesto or my family’s marinara recipe!

  39. So excited for Heather’s new book! My favorite pasta has to be alfredo, with lots of Parm!

  40. I love all kinds of pasta really! I especially like pesto so cannot wait to try this variation on a personal favorite! I married a Sicilian so now I get to eat it all the time!

  41. I love all kinds of pasta – carbonera is the best!

  42. i love me some ravioli…

  43. I can’t wait to get this cookbook! The beet pesto pasta is so creative!

  44. What a bright dish this is!!

  45. Our favorite pasta is good ole spaghetti!!!

  46. Looks like a great cookbook! Can’t wait to try the beet pasta with my boys:)

  47. Ooh, next time I’m feeling adventurous, I want to try cooking with beets. My all-time favorite pasta recipe is shrimp or chicken scampi…mmm heaven!

  48. Carbonara (the Roman way, without cream) is my favorite pasta :) This looks like I might even eat it (and I’m not a fan of beets!)

  49. Oh my gosh, that beet pasta is gorgeous! Congrats on your beautiful book, Heather!

  50. Our favortie pasta dinner is stuffed shells

  51. WOW! Heather, you ROCK! Such a fun, creative and innovative pasta dish. And, what a stunning book trailer for your cookbook, Generous Table! It is bound to do extremely well. And, what a beautiful family! Looking forward to the release of your cookbook, Heather. I’m with Christina, of Dessert For Two (comment above). However, I say, “Look out Giada!” Thanks for hosting Heather, Sommer! xo

  52. One of my favorite comfort pasta dishes is spaghetti with butter generously sprinkled with Parmesan cheese and black pepper.

  53. Oh my, this looks lovely AND yummy-delicious! I can’t wait to try it! My favorite pasta dish is what I callGrilled chicken in a rosé cream sauce; sort of an Alfredo that I add a smidgen of roasted tomato sauce to.

  54. Congratulations on your book, Heather! This is the prettiest dish. What a vivid, beautiful color the beets lend to the pasta.

  55. Oh my gosh! Love beets and never thought to make a pesto with it. Ever!! Congrats on the book, Heather! Love it :)

  56. Love all types of pasta. This looks really interesting!

  57. I like pasta with a beef ragu, or a chunky mushroom tomato sauce.
    I definitely want to try the beet pesto recipe.

  58. love beets, so looking forward to this – and would love to win the cookbook

  59. Homemade pumpkin ravioli with sage and brown butter..yum!

  60. Chicken scampi with angel hair

  61. I love any type of pasta. I really want to make some fresh basil pasta this summer. I love Heather Christo–her blog is one of my favorites, along with yours!!

  62. Heather, you are an inspiration and your laugh is contagious! Congrats on the book, it is stunning!

  63. I love alfredo of any kind!!! Horrible fattening but delicious! I also love adding in some shrimp.

  64. I love pasta! This is a great new recipe I will definitely have to try! I found it / you on a link from twitter! Yay! One of my favorite pasta dishes is chicken pesto & linguine with mushrooms… simple easy.. baked chicken, basil pesto mixed in with sauteed mushrooms & linguine… YUMZ

  65. Spaghettii with marina is my favorite pasta to eat…my favorite pasta to cook is spinach lasagna rolls….mmmmmm.

  66. I love ravioli!

  67. I really wish I liked beets because it does look really good and so pretty. My favorite pasta is farfalle in a light alfredo sauce, with sun-dried tomatoes, peas, pancetta and grilled chicken.

  68. The pasta looks great. I’m a new beet lover. Will try this recipe for sure!

  69. call me old fashioned, but I love a traditional spaghetti and meatballs!

  70. I love anything Alfredo.

  71. I just love home made spaghetti sauce with chunky vegetables. MMMmmm Yum.

  72. I love simple pasta with great olive oil, garlic and parsley. For a special occasion I add shrimp. Another favorite is Crab Spaghetti with lemon. So good! Thanks for offering the giveaway. What a great looking book.

  73. LOVE shrimp scampi!

  74. Just recently discovered beets I am looking forward to trying this.

  75. My favorite pasta is sundried tomato alfredo with penne pasta, shrimp and broccoli! YUMM

  76. My favorite pasta is with spinach, basil pesto, salmon and tomatoes

  77. I like the sound of the beet pesto and what an amazing and vibrant colour! Congrats on the book Heather! I am looking forward to seeing it!

  78. I’m always on the lookout for a new recipe book! This one looks good!

  79. Love the color of this pasta, so pretty!

  80. Crab mac n’ cheese is pretty tasty

  81. Wow, the pasta and the book are both gorgeous! Love ’em!

  82. Beets? If only it wasn’t beets! Maybe? It does look beautiful.

  83. My favorite past is the ultimate comfort food – homemade Mac & cheese.

  84. This pasta is gorgeous! I must try this recipe asap. Wonderful to see Heather & her book featured here :)

  85. What a great idea, I just planted some beets in my garden so I know I will have lots to try this out with!

  86. I love pasta with olive oil, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper and parmesan.

  87. I splurged and bought myself a KitchenAid pasta attachment and made basil spaghetti which was bright green and delicious!

  88. Such an amazing pasta dish, and I can’t wait to see Heather’s book! (And your kitchen, Sommer!)

  89. Sommer- thank you for having me! this is so fun!! XOXO

  90. I love this!! My parents had beets coming out their ears in the garden last year and we were googling recipes left and right. Cannot wait to send this to them.

  91. I NEED to make this! I saw this in the video and it totally stuck out. I love the bright pink! :)

  92. Spicy homemade spaghetti sauce

  93. Our favorite pasta dish is ‘our’ Alfredo. Buttered Noodles, low fat cream cheese, cottage cheese, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Heated till melted. YUM!

  94. that sounds really delish. thanks!

  95. Heather is so talented! Love her and her recipes!!

  96. I love pasta with a homemade spicy tomato sauce! So delicious and fresh!

  97. Wish I would have had this recipe when my 3 daughters were little — the pink factor alone would have made it a hit! Love beets and cant wait to try this! Wishing you continued success!

  98. Such a fun food!!! I love that it’s healthy too :)

  99. I would love to make a spinach pasta with basil and tomatoes.

  100. This pasta look amazing and I can not wait for this book!

  101. I love roasted tomatoes and garlic with pasta and white balsamic vinaigrette

  102. I think Heather Christo is the new Ina Garten. I do! Ina is great, but Heather is young & fresh and has bright shiny recipes! Love her!

    Ok ok, favorite pasta: ricotto gnocchi. duh ;)

  103. Amazing! I’ve tried beet green pesto, but never thought to use the actual beets! The color is so incredibly vibrant!

  104. Love this pasta and I am SO excited for Heather’s book!

  105. Love the beet pasta

  106. Favorite pasta: pumpkin gnocchi! so so good.