Yesterday’s post about beets earned me a lunch invitation. On Saturday, my friend Ken “Gino” Gilberg invited me and Robin to share a bowl of Beet Pasta, that he was inspired to cook. In addition to being an expert on mushrooms and producing a vast array of scented soaps at Herberia, Ken is a talented and adventuresome cook.
Since I’m always delighted to eat or shop on The Hill, I was ready in no time. When I arrived, Ken was in the kitchen putting the finishing touches on lunch. He had used a bunch of beets and their tops to assemble two attractive dishes.
Making Beet Pasta and Greens
Earlier Ken had wrapped six, large beets in foil and roasted them for 90 minutes at 450 degrees. (Often he just covers a bowl of beets and microwaves them till done.) When cooked and cooled, he sliced the beets, using a mandolin to achieve a French fry-size cut.
Then he sautéed chopped onions in olive oil. When the onions were transparent, he removed them from the heat, added the cooked beets, salt and pepper to taste, a generous handful of freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano, a few green onions, and a nob of butter.
He combined the beet sauce with a pound and a half of cooked bow-tie noodles. Ken explained that he uses bow-tie noodles, or farfalle, for sentimental reasons. That’s what was in the dish when he first ate Beet Pasta in Rome years ago.
I’ve been collecting kitchen tips from cooks and chefs, so during lunch I asked Ken if he had one to pass on. He recalled something that his mother had taught the family about gathering at mealtime: “You should wait on the food; not the food wait on you.” Now that’s a quote worth hanging on your kitchen wall.
Thanks, Ken, for showing me how much fun it can be to eat beets.