It made its big comeback in lockdown: lunch at home. Yes, exactly, this ritual long forgotten by many city dwellers, lost between the lunch break and the school canteen. In the wake of home office and homeschooling, willy-nilly, it was suddenly back.
The new book by Nadiya Hussain, a recipes columnist for The Times magazine, Netflix cook and TV presenter, fits in with this revival. It is called “Time to Eat” (Ars Vivendi, 24 euros) and promises “simple and quick recipes for a relaxed life”. Relaxed indeed: for this pasta you don’t have to cook anything apart from the noodles – after all, beetroot can also be bought cooked and packaged. The preparation is so easy that desk clerks in particular will experience it as an ideal break in the working day: a yoga session for the senses, stretching for the keyboard-troubled fingers. Perfect.
500 g noodles (e.g. ribbon noodles)
600 g cooked beetroot, drained
100 ml olive oil, plus more for serving
1 teaspoon fine salt
4 cloves of garlic
1 red chilli pepper (seeds and skins removed if you like it less spicy)
200 g Feta
20 g dill, freshly chopped
1 tbsp lemon juice
Cook the pasta in enough salted water until al dente. Meanwhile, for the sauce, puree the beetroot, olive oil, salt, garlic and chilli in a blender until smooth. Freeze half of the sauce in a small freezer bag for a later meal. Crumble the feta in a bowl. Scatter chopped dill on top, drizzle everything with lemon juice and mix well.
As soon as the noodles are firm to the bite, pour off the cooking water and pour the noodles back into the pot. Pour the beetroot sauce over it and fold in. Pour into a serving bowl and spread the feta mixture on top. Drizzle with a little olive oil before serving.
PS: The frozen beetroot sauce can be kept for up to six months. Do not forget: Make sure to label the freezer bag with the date and the contents.