You will love this simple but oh-so-impressive pasta dish, with vibrant scarlet beetroot spaghetti topped with toasted walnuts and scallops. Impressive enough for a dinner party, but simple enough for a week night after-work supper.
There is good reason that pasta is (nearly!) everybody’s favourite. It is quick, easy, adaptable and relatively frugal. In short, it ticks all my fuss free boxes and makes it perfect for a speedy after work supper.
When cooking pasta use a large pan, bringing the water to a rolling boil and then add salt and pasta. It’s a good idea to get into the habit of scooping out a cup of the cooking liquid once the pasta is nearly ready. You can add the starchy pasta water to almost any sauce to thin it down and make it go a bit further. It will also add a lovely silkiness to the texture. This is a simple trick, but one that really improves pasta dishes. It is something that you will soon start to do automatically once you realise how well it works.
Pasta is so versatile – you can dress it up or down. When I was a student, my two favourite pasta dishes were decidedly dressed down. Spaghetti tossed in melted butter with some finely chopped ham, a good sprinkle of cheese and lots of salt and pepper, or penne in creamy sauce of pesto and mayonnaise. Student food at its best!
For a more dressed up, grown-up pasta dish, try this this vibrant scarlet beetroot spaghetti with scallops. You could make beetroot pasta from scratch by adding some beetroot powder to pasta dough for flavour and colour. I’ve used dried pasta instead, and tossed it in fried grated beetroot. You can use fresh, as I did, or finely chop the precooked beetroot that comes in long-life vacuum packs. So simple, but so effective and so much easier than making pasta.
Beetroot is one of my favourite vegetables not only because of its glorious colour and earthy sweet richness, it is also rather good for you.
7 Things You Might Not Know About Beetroot
- Beetroot is a great source of folic acid and a very good source of fibre, manganese and potassium. It also contains nitrates, betaine, magnesium and other antioxidants (notably betacyanin)
- A study has shown that drinking beetroot juice can help with with lowering blood pressure
- Beetroot can be boiled, steamed, or roasted or you can slice the raw root very thinly using a mandolin (mind your fingers!) and eaten raw as beetroot carpaccio
- Don’t throw away the greens! Use the stalks and leaves as you would chard, calvo nero or spinach, or pair them with some extra beets and labneh to make the traditional Greek dish of Patzarosalata me Yiaourti – a beetroot salad with yogurt.
- Rub a dollop of toothpaste into your hands to get rid of the stains from preparing beetroot. You can also use lemon juice
- The red colour is used as a natural food colouring. It even has an E-number – E162
Luxury for Less
Scallops feel luxurious, but most supermarket sell bags of frozen scallops, sadly minus the roe, but still delicious. If you do want the roe then you need to buy fresh. When using frozen, take them out of the freezer in the morning and leave covered in the fridge to defrost. As with any seafood, please make sure that it has been responsibly sourced when you buy.
Top your scallops with beetroot pasta with some toasted walnuts and a few seared scallops then garnish with some green salad leaves. I added a few beetroot crisps as I’ve been playing with my dehydrator, but you can leave them off, or use a packet of store bought.
For an equally delicious vegetarian beetroot spaghetti, simply leave off the scallops and sprinkle a little crumbled feta over the pasta and beetroot. For a fancier effect, warm slices of goat’s cheese under the grill until they start to brown.
How to Make Beetroot Spaghetti with Scallops
Step 1 – Bring a large pot of water to the boil, add salt and start to cook the spaghetti.
Step 2 – While the spaghetti cooks, add half the oil to a frying pan and saute the beetroot over a medium heat. After a few minutes’ cooking time, take half a cup of the pasta cooking water, and season. Allow to simmer to reduce and to make a sauce.
Fuss Free Tip
You can use either grated fresh beetroot, or ready cooked vacuum packed beetroot. I love the packets of cooked beetroot as they are shelf stable for months and perfect for your pantry. You absolutely don’t want to use pickled beets for this!
Step 3 – Fry the scallops in the remainder of the oil, over a medium heat, for about 3 minutes on each side until they are golden brown and cooked through.
Step 4 – Drain the spaghetti, reserving a little of the cooking water. Add the spaghetti to the beetroot sauce. It should turn a beautiful scarlet. Add more cooking water if you need to adjust the consistency.
Step 5 – Serve immediately, topping the beetroot spaghetti with the scallops, walnuts, a few salad leaves and beetroot crisps.
Beetroot spaghetti with scallops
- 120 g Spaghetti
- 10 ml Olive oil
- 100 g Beetroot (peeled and grated, or use precooked from the supermarket)
- 25 g Walnuts (lightly toasted)
- 6 Scallops
- 1 tsp Beetroot crisps
- 10 g herby salad leaves
- Bring a large pot of water to the boil, add salt and start to cook the spaghetti.
- While the spaghetti cooks, add half the oil to a frying pan and saute the beetroot over a medium heat. After a few minutes' cooking time, take half a cup of the pasta cooking water, and season. Allow to simmer to reduce and to make a sauce.
- Fry the scallops in the remainder of the oil, over a medium heat, for about 3 minutes on each side until they are golden brown and cooked through.
- Drain the spaghetti, reserving a little of the cooking water. Add the spaghetti to the beetroot sauce. It should turn a beautiful scarlet. Add more cooking water if you need to adjust the consistency.
- Serve immediately, topping the beetroot spaghetti with the scallops, walnuts, a few salad leaves and beetroot crisps.
If you have a couple of spare beetroot after making this you might like to whizz up a green beetroot smoothie for breakfast and serve it along side some beetroot bread!
Beetroot is my absolute favourite and I cannot believe this – OMG I wanna immediately try it out; YUMMM
I adore beetroot too. So delicious!
Rebecca | AAUBlog
beetroot is one of my favourite things. Definitely going to be pining for later :)
I’ve had sweet potato, carrot and courgette spaghetti, but never beetroot, Sounds intriguing x
this is such an easy trick to dye the pasta scarlet!
Wow that looks amazing! I never really use much Beetroot but I want to give this a try x
so delicious and such a good colour.
Oh this sounds scrumptious! I do love beetroot – and the colour is so vibrant and inviting! What a beautiful dish. I love the sound of he veggie option too – a little feta or goats cheese would be delicious. Adding this to my must try list. Thanks Charlie x
Baked beetroot and feta is so delicious.
I absolutely love Beetroot and I love Scallops but have never had them together, I now of course really want to try this x
A very tasty combination.
That looks visually pleasing! Yum. I only have eaten beet once, inside a smoothie but need to try again. I love how you added scallops, those are so good!
Beet in a smoothie is so good!
Shashi at Savory Spin
Wow – what a gorgeously colored pasta. I love beetroot and I like this easier method of coloring pasta – for someone like me who rarely makes my own pasta this is perfect. And – this could be such a festive dish as well.
so much easier than making pasta from scratch!
Oh wow! This is quite the impressive dinner. I absolutely love the color of that pasta. How beautiful!
It is all about the impressive presentation!
Katie | HealthySeasonalRecipes
I love beets too! They are some of my favorite veggies. Great way to prepare them!
Such a delicious vegetable. the amazing colour is a bonus.
such a gorgeous color, and I love all the elements here!
I think the colour makes it!
The color of this spaghetti is absolutely gorgeous! What a beautiful, vibrant meal to serve guests (or yourself!). These flavors must pair so well with the scallops.
Thanks Amanda, it is such a simple dish too!
Kate | Veggie Desserts
Beetroot gives the pasta such a vibrant purple colour!
I love that colour.
The colour is so vibrant! My other half loves beetroot so I will definitely be showing him this recipe.
The colour is wonderful isn’t it.
Looks delicious but I’m allergic to scallops. Wish I wasn’t – they always look so tasty.
Unfortunate to be allergic to scallops; you could try with something else. Chicken perhaps.
Oh wow this looks delicious. Beetroot is one of my favourite foods and I think it’s so underused x
Such a good vegetable, especially at this time of year.
This sounds delicious. The beetroot pasta looks so pretty too. I’ve never tried cheese & curry powder toasties but I’m so going to make one tonight now!
I’ve not had a cheese and curry powder toastie for years – they were the best!
Beetroot spaghetti sounds so amazing! I have always been interested in making ‘pasta’ out of veg. Looks incredible – I will definitely be trying to make it myself at some point!
So easy to make, and utterly delicious.
Looks delicious. Love pasta and my kids do. But never heard of this beetroot. Anyway, thanks for sharing the recipe.
Such a good vegetable, lovely taste, and a wonderful colour.
omg I made it this week It was amazing. thank you so much!! can’t wait for more?
Delighted you liked it.