½ cup walnut pieces
1 bunch of beets with tops attached
2 T olive oil
1 ½ inch piece of ginger root, peeled and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons of orange juice
1/2 cup canola oil
1 t sea salt
1 tsp of freshly ground pepper
1 pound dry cavatelli pasta
6 ounces goat cheese, crumbled into quarter inch pieces
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
On a sheet tray, toast walnut pieces until lightly browned and fragrant, about 7 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
Remove the beet tops from the beet roots. Wash and dry greens thoroughly. Roughly chop.
Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees. Scrub beets thoroughly. Quarter large beet roots and leave small ones whole, so that pieces are no larger than 1-2 inches. Toss with olive oil, ¼ teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon of freshly ground pepper. Roast in oven for 30 minutes or until beets are tender.
Combine beet greens, ginger root, orange juice, and walnuts in a food processor. Blend until thoroughly combined. Stop to scrape down sides.
Turn food processor back on and while running, slowly stream in the canola oil. Stop to scrape down sides and continue processing if needed. You should have a finely blended paste. Season with salt and pepper.
At this point, you can set aside about 1 cup of the pesto for use in the recipe and freeze the remainder in a plastic freezer storage bag.
Cook pasta in salted boiling water until al dente or according to package instructions. Drain. Reserve about ¼ cup cooking liquid.
Toss pasta with 1 cup of pesto. Add cooking liquid 1 tablespoon at a time to help toss pasta. Top with roasted beets and crumbled goat cheese.