Penne Rigate With Roasted Beetroot Sauce

Ingredients: 

• 600g fresh beetroot (about 4 medium), scrubbed, trimmed and cut into small dice (no need to peel)
• 4 tbsp olive oil
• 4 sprigs thyme
• 4 garlic cloves, unpeeled
• 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
• 160 ml (2/3 cup) vegetable stock
• 80 ml (1/3 cup) soy milk (or your choice of milk)
• 1 tsp sugar

Preparation: 

Hot cooked pasta, to serve.

Walnuts, watercress leaves and feta cheese (optional, leave cheese out to make dish vegan), to garnish.

Heat the oven to 200°C. Put the diced beetroot onto a roasting tray and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the thyme sprigs and garlic cloves and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 30-40 minutes until very tender. Discard the thyme sprigs.

Place the beetroot into the bowl of a food processor or powerful blender. Push the garlic out of the skins and put that into the food processor too. Add the vinegar and remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil and process until a smooth paste forms. Add a splash or two of water if your device is having problems making it into a paste.

Place the beetroot paste into a medium saucepan and add the stock, soy milk and sugar. Bring to a simmer then taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.

Toss through hot pasta and garnish with walnuts, watercress leaves and feta.