Allow me to step up onto my soapbox under this tent, and hand me the microphone–“it is time to peel and grate, to roast and toss, to gently braise and season, to NOURISH your bloodstream, to clean your insides and PURPLE your outsides. I am a well woman now–my feelings are in order, my eyes are clear, my head is hopeful, and I put it all to the beets. Be brave. There is no substituting canned–you wouldn’t substitute canned for fresh watermelon would you, when you are sitting on fresh sand with fresh salt in your hair and a real sun heating up your program, would you? No. Buy fresh beets, and peel them. This is the very same pasta dish I told you about two days, ago, but this time I want you to make it. Start small if you have to and make enough for two. Peel and grate one medium sized beet. Get a little sauce pan full of water and add a pinch of salt and a dash of olive oil. Peel another beet and chop it up in small pieces. When the water boils, turn down to a simmer and throw the chopped beet in. Cook until just tender. (you need the cooking water from this–save the beet for a salad). Heat up a pour of your good olive oil with a tablespoon of butter. Finely chop one shallot and two cloves of garlic. Saute over a very low flame with a pinch of salt. Add a 1 teaspoon hand crushed fennel seeds and few tablespoons of finely chopped fresh parsley. Breathe deep to get that aroma into you. Add the beet. Stir around with a wooden spoon every once in a while until they are cooked, but still have a little snap. Grate a good handful of parmigiano reggiano on the big side. Wash and dry some tiny arugula leaves (a cup). Boil your pasta water and cook either 5 ounces of orchiette or farfalle (I like De cecco) until al dente.
Taste the grated beets for salt and give them a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Drain the pasta and tip it into the frying pan with the beets. Another squeeze of fresh lemon juice, a tab of butter, the parmesan, a grind of black pepper, a few spoonfuls of the beet juice, and the arugula. Before you toss everything, give the arugula leaves a tiny drizzle of your best olive oil. Now toss. Taste. You should be feeling better already.