Red beet fusilli with balsamic, poppy seeds and mint
4 tablespoons poppy seeds!
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound raw fresh red beets, peeled and grated
1 pound fusilli or other "ribbon style" pasta
salt and pepper, to taste
2/3 cups grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1. In a large heavy saucepan toast the poppy seeds over high heat, stirring, until they are fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl. Add 5 tablespoons butter to the same saucepan and cook over medium heat until it begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in the beets and season with salt and pepper, 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar. Turn the heat off, cover and let sit at least 10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a large pot of salted water, boil the pasta until just al dente. Drain and transfer the pasta to the pan with the beets, reserving some of the pasta water. Add in a ladle of the hot pasta water and toss the pasta with the remaining 1 tbsp butter and the grated cheese; season the pasta with salt and pepper. Give everything a good stir together with the poppy seeds and remaining balsamic vinegar. Garnish with mint, add more salt and pepper as necessary. Serve with a little more cheese passed at the table.