Beet and Goat Cheese Pasta Vegetarian Recipe

I first thought up this vegetarian pasta dish recipe when I worked at Allandale Farm and would have leftover beets from the farm stand sales. Ones that weren't pretty enough to be sold, so we employees got ot take them home for ourselves. 

The principle is the ubiquitous "beet & goat cheese salad" but turned into a pasta dish. And it's so pretty!

Penne Pasta

Cook pasta to al dente in well-salted water. Add some butter or oil and seasoning to keep separated, and set aside.

Goat Cheese Bechamel:

1 "log" of goat cheese
8 oz sour cream
3 cup veg broth, depending on desired thickness of sauce
2 1/2 tbs butter
2 tbs flour
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 heaping tbs chopped garlic
salt and pepper to taste

melt 1/2 tbs butter and lightly sauteed up the garlic and onion and seasoning over med high heat until just tender. Add rest of butter, melt until just bubbly, turn to low heat, sift in flour until absorbed into butter and onion/garlic as with a standard roux. Remove from heat. Add 2 c broth and whisk ingredients, season again. Return to high heat, whisking often, to incorporate all ingredients, then let heat to bubbling, to let roux absorb into broth as with start of any sauce. Once absorb occurs, remove from heat. Let stand a minute. Add another cup of broth and seasoning and stir, then add the sour cream, whisking ingredients together. Return to med low heat. You don't want to curdle sour cream, so don have heat too high. Once ingredients are blended, add the goat cheese in chunks, and continue whisking until all ingredients are incorporated. Remove from heat and seat aside. Sauce will thicken upon standing. Season to taste.

Beet Sautee

2 tbs olive oil
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1 c (give or take) beet root, cubed to 1/2"--put in microwavable dish with tiny bit of water in bottom. Zap for 2 minutes to tenderize.
1 c chopped beet greens or other greens (chard, spinach, collard, kale, arugula, mix thereof), well chopped
1 c broth
optional spices & herbs: coriander, paprika; fresh parsley, thyme, sage, basil
1 tsp lemon juice
salt & pepper to taste

Heat olive oil on med high. Sautee shallot. Add beet root, greens, seasoning and optional herbs/spices. Sautee until greens are cooked and beet are tender., adding 2-3 tbs broth to keep moisture as beets cook through. Remove from heat. Add lemon juice. Stir.

In a large pot, combine pasta, sauce and sautee. Cook on med low heat, stirring well, until everything is beautifully fuchsia. Serve. Garnish with pecorino romano or parmesan.