Beet-Dressed Pasta With Golden Raisins & Poppy Seeds

October 21, 2019
4 Ratings
Photo by Rocky Luten
  • Prep time 30 minutes
  • Cook time 12 minutes
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

Generally, I use a microwave to warm up my forgotten morning coffee and for little else. But there are other uses. The beets in this recipe will purée to a significantly smoother texture if they are warm. If you have prepared a load of beets earlier in the week and want to make this sauce, simply warm them up in the microwave with a splash of water. Alternatively, if you are cooking loads of beets, it’s smart to make the purée when they are warm out of the oven. It will store in the refrigerator for a week or in the freezer for a good long time. This pasta salad also works as a cold salad, but often needs an extra pinch of salt, since the flavors will be muted when cold.

Reprinted from Ruffage by Abra Berens with permission by Chronicle Books, 2019. —abraberens

What You'll Need
  • 1/4 cup (35 g) golden raisins
  • Juice of ½ lemon (0.75 fl oz | 22 ml)
  • 2 steam-roasted beets (1 lb | 455 g)
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Cream (optional)
  • 1 pound (455 g) small pasta, bow ties, orecchiette, or penne
  • 1 tablespoon (10 g) poppy seeds
  1. Soak the golden raisins in ½ cup (120 ml) hot water with a squeeze of lemon for 10 minutes or until they are plump. Strain the raisins, saving the water.
  2. In a food processor, purée the beets with the olive oil, raisin water, and a good pinch of salt and pepper until very smooth. If you like dairy, toss in a glug of cream.
  3. Boil the pasta in well-salted water and drain.
  4. Toss the pasta with the beet purée (to warm and coat), soaked raisins, and poppy seeds. Transfer to serving platter or individual bowls. Drizzle with additional olive oil.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • FrugalCat
  •  Burton
  • Kelli G
    Kelli G
  • Peg
Abra Berens is a chef, author, and former vegetable farmer. She started cooking at Zingerman's Deli, trained at Ballymaloe in Cork, Ireland. Find her at Granor Farm in Three Oaks, MI. Her first two cookbooks Ruffage and Grist are out now. The third Pulp: a practical guide to cooking with fruit publishes on April 4th, 2023.

4 Reviews

Burton September 29, 2022
This dish came out a truly alarming pink color, and the poppy seeds gave it the unappetizing appearance of pasta doused in strawberry puree. It tasted alright, but I'll be honest: it was only alright, and I think it was less than the sum of its parts. Very sweet for a pasta dish, and the poppy seeds don't really complement the flavor of the beets – overall, I don't think I'll be making it again.
Kelli G. October 3, 2021
I almost thought you had invented a new genre of food: "dessert pasta". But the lemon juice brings it back from the brink. This was incredibly delicious, especially given how easy it is to make. It's going into regular rotation. AND the sauce keeps well in both fridge and freezer. AND it can be served hot or cold. Amazing. Five stars.
FrugalCat October 12, 2020
Golden beets as well as golden raisins! That way the kitchen doesn't look like a crime scene.
Peg March 8, 2020
Not for the faint-hearted...even my husband who loves beets needed a little explanation before I brought it to the table. But we both loved it! So easy to make, yet what a wonderful change from the usual pasta sauce. Adding the raisins was genius. Will make it again for sure.