Love is in the air and pasta is on the table!

Love is in the air and pasta is on the table. Or, so it should be on Valentine’s Day! We’re not sure why V Day inspires craving for pasta goodness, but we’re totally down with it. This year, we have a suggestion: why not make pink pasta for the big day? Whether you’re cooking for a loved one, friends or yourself, this recipe for Pink Spaghetti with Beet and Ricotta Sauce, courtesy of Cherry Bombe: The Cookbook, is sure to delight. We gave it a try and loved the end result, which was light but super satisfying. Did we mention it’s pretty, too? Here’s the recipe, as taken from Cherry Bombe!

Pink Spaghetti with Beet and Ricotta Sauce

Ingredients:

Kosher salt

2 red beets, the size of tennis balls

2 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup olive oil (divided use)

1/2 cup boiling water

2 cups part-skim ricotta

1 pound spaghetti **Obviously, we suggest using our HIGH PROTEIN Spaghetti! Two boxes work perfectly.

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

1/2 cup chopped fresh basil

1/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts

Zest of 2 lemons

Fill a large pot with water and several large pinches of salt and bring to a boil.

Peel the beets, then shred them in a food processor, using a shredding blade, or on the large holes of a box grater. You’ll have about 4 cups shredded beets.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add the grated beets and a pinch of salt and saute, stirring frequently, for 3 to 4 minutes. Once the beets have softened, add the 1/2 cup boiling water and cook for 3 minutes more.

Transfer the beets to a food processor, add the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil, and puree into a smooth paste. Add the ricotta and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Puree again until very smooth. Set aside.

Cook the spaghetti in the pot of boiling water according to package instructions. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water and drain the spaghetti.

In a large bowl, quickly combine the hot pasta with three-quarters of the beet-ricotta sauce and mix together well. If the sauce is too thick, add the reserved pasta water 1 tablespoon at a time. Add more sauce and/or water if necessary. Any extra sauce will keep in the refrigerator for a few days. (Extra sauce can be used as a dip for vegetables, sandwich spread or crostini topping.)

Twirl a serving of pasta onto a plate or into a bowl and sprinkle with some Parmigiano-Reggiano, basil, walnuts and lemon zest. Repeat with the remaining pasta. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

SOURCE: Elettra Wiedemann from Cherry Bombe: The Cookbook by Kerry Diamond and Claudia Wu