Still discarding those beet greens? I have a secret for you: bacon! Bacon and beet greens are a great combo. In this recipe, bacon and beet greens get tossed with fusilli and cheddar for a quick, tasty and healthy meal. With all these healthy greens, I’m sticking to the line that this is a healthy dish with this modest amount of bacon boosting the flavor.
I’m a newcomer to the bacon and beet greens party. As much as I subscribe to the “waste not” maxim, it has taken me awhile to warm up to beet greens. Over the past few years, prompted by our farmshare abundance, I’ve finally come up with some recipes that I enjoy with beets. But I couldn’t bring myself to use those beet tops, until my deep dive on creating new greens recipes motivated me to give them a try. I’m glad I did! The flavor is tasty and more delicate than I suspected, and beet greens combine nicely with garlic and bacon, fav ingredients in this kitchen.
You don’t have to be long to a farmshare program to enjoy this bacon and beet greens pasta. I had a package of IRONman Spinach Beet Salad on hand from Cut ‘N Clean Greens, a nice handy combination of greens that is great for salad as well as for cooking as in this recipe. I had some beets on hand as well, so combined the tops with half of the IRONman package. Go ahead and use the whole package if you don’t have beet tops handy.
This simple recipe can be put together in just over 30 minutes, and provides plenty of healthy flavor. Put this recipe on your short list and enjoy it soon!
Wine Pairing: I’ve found Pinot Noir goes with with bacon and beet greens separately, so it seemed natural to pair with this dish. We opened the 2011 Torii Mor Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, and were very pleased to have done so! Violet on the on the nose, silky mouthfeel. Taste of licorice and cherry fruit. The elegant wine paired with the simple dish made for a fine dining experience!
Full Disclosure: I received a complimentary package of the Cut ‘N Clean Greens. The recipe and opinions are entirely my own.
- 12 ozs fusilli pasta
- 1 or 2 slices bacon
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- ½ onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ cup chicken stock
- 4 ozs IRONman Spinach Beet Green Salad Mix
- 1 bunch beet greens, coarsely chopped (or use another 4 ozs of the IRONman green blend)
- pinch red pepper flakes
- ½ cup cheddar cheese, shredded
- additional shredded cheese for serving (optional)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat a large skillet on medium high, spray with oil to coat.
- Cook bacon until it is crispy, about 5 minutes.
- Remove bacon from pan, set on plate topped with paper towel to cool. Crumble into bite sized pieces when cool.
- Drain the excess bacon grease from skillet, then heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in the skillet on medium.
- Add the onion, cook about 5 minutes until it begins to soften.
- Start the pasta water to boil as the onion begins to cook.
- After the onion has softened, add the garlic to the skillet and cook for one minute to release the garlic aroma.
- Gradually stir the greens into the skillet, along with the stock, red pepper flakes, and salt to taste.
- Cover the skillet, simmer the greens for about 10 minutes.
- Cook the pasta according to package instructions while the greens simmer.
- Drain the pasta when cooked, toss with the green mixture, extra tablespoon olive oil, and cheddar cheese.
- Plate the pasta, and serve sprinkled with some bacon crumbles. Enjoy!