Recipe: Cavatelli with Brown Butter Beets, Ricotta and Pistachios
1½ cups whole milk ricotta
¼ teaspoon finely grated orange zest, more to taste
1½ teaspoons chopped fresh sage
1¼ teaspoons kosher salt, more as needed
½ teaspoon black pepper, more as needed
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1½ pounds beets, peeled and finely grated in a food processor
1½ teaspoons balsamic vinegar
¾ pound fresh or dried cavatelli
½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
¼ cup chopped pistachios
1. In a small bowl, combine ricotta, orange zest and sage. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
2. In a large heavy skillet over medium heat, melt 5 tablespoons of butter. Cook until foam subsides and butter is a deep hazelnut color, about 5 minutes. (Watch carefully that it doesn’t burn.) Stir in beets and season with 1¼ teaspoons salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook until beets are very tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in vinegar. Add more salt and pepper if needed.
3. Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook cavatelli until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 / 3 cup cooking liquid.
4. Put pasta in a large warmed serving bowl. Toss with remaining 1 tablespoon butter, the grated cheese and most of the reserved liquid. Toss well; add remaining cooking liquid if necessary for a creamy consistency. Stir in beet mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Dollop spoonfuls of seasoned ricotta onto pasta; sprinkle with pistachios and cracked black pepper.
Melissa Clark, The New York Times