Drunken Tuscan Spaghetti with Golden Beets, Brown Butter & Hazelnuts

This hearty dish is vegetarian but will satisfy meat lovers, too.
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Drunken Tuscan Spaghetti with Golden Beets, Brown Butter & Hazelnuts

Recipe by Rachael Ray

Dinners for Two: Valentine’s Day only comes once a year, but date night should happen every week! My date-night dinners for two turn any Tuesday into a red-letter day.

  • 2Servings

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup blanched hazelnuts, chopped
  • 2 large or 3 medium golden beets, scrubbed and trimmed (If the tops are pretty, I like to save them to add to salads)
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 scant tsp. acacia or other mild honey
  • 12 oz. spaghetti
  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • 12 large sage leaves
  • 1 bottle Italian medium-bodied white or orange wine
  • About 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for passing

Preparation

1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Place the nuts on a small baking sheet and bake until brown and fragrant, about 4 minutes. Let cool.

2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta.

3. Using the side of a box grater with large holes, grate the beets. (I rub my hands with olive oil first so the beet juice doesn’t stain, and I grate on a plastic board, not a wooden cutting board.)

4. In a large, wide skillet, heat the oil, two turns of the pan, over medium-high. Add the grated beets and season with salt and pepper. Add the shallot and garlic, drizzle with the honey and cook, stirring often, until the beets soften, about 5 minutes.

5. Salt the pasta water, add the spaghetti and cook until just a few minutes shy of al dente, about 5 minutes.

6. In a small skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. When the butter bubbles, add the sage leaves and cook until crispy, about 5 minutes. Remove the brown butter from the heat. Transfer the sage to a paper towel and let cool.

7. Add the bottle of wine to the beets and bring to a boil. Cook until slightly reduced, about 3 minutes. Drain the pasta and add to the beet mixture. Cook, tossing often, until the spaghetti is al dente, about 3 minutes more. Add the brown butter and about 3/4 cup cheese; season the pasta and mix together. Serve the pasta in shallow bowls topped with the hazelnuts and sage. Pass more cheese at the table.