Chicken with Pasta and Beet Greens

Next time you buy beets, don't throw away the tops, try this instead. If, like me, you are inexperienced at sautéing greens, this recipe could be a first step. Beet greens seem hardier and more able to stand up to heat. In other words, they're hard to screw up! That was enough to get me to try them. I decided to use them in this quick pasta dish instead of spinach. What a difference, I like them a lot better.

I haven't written a recipe for this meal before now, so it's nice to finally write it down. These days, I'm making it with an emphasis on the chicken rather than the pasta but you can easily change the proportions. The trick is to reserve some of the pasta water - you may need the extra moisture.  
I hope you enjoy this one; it'll help you use up some left-overs and it's healthy to boot!

Time: 30 minutes
Yield: Serves 2
Level: Easy


1/2 lb angel hair pasta
Beet greens washed and trimmed8 oz cooked chicken, chopped
1 1/2 tsp olive oil
1 cup beet greens (the tops of about 3 beets), washed and chopped
2 sun dried tomatoes, sliced into strips
1 tbsp pine nuts
1 clove garlic, chopped
Splash of white wine (approx 2 tsps) or balsamic vinegar
Salt and Pepper
Parmesan Cheese as garnish

Image of pasta water boiling while garlic is sauteing in olive oil
Remove the long red stems from the beet greens and wash the leaves thoroughly. Slice the leaves into long strips and set aside.
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook al dente. Reserve 3/4 cup of the cooking water and set aside. Drain the cooked pasta. While the pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in a saute pan on a medium heat.
Add garlic and pine nuts, stir for about 1 minute. Don't let either brown.
Add sun dried tomatoes and a splash of white wine or balsamic vinegar.

Image of final meal in the pan. Pasta has been added.Ready to toss and serveAdd chopped chicken and half of the pasta water. Cook until just heated.

Chicken with Pasta and Beet Greens in the pan, ready to add the pastaFinally, add the beet greens and the remaining pasta water (if needed). Give it one quick stir, cover it and let the greens wilt (approximately 3 minutes).

Add the cooked pasta to the pan and toss or stir to distribute all ingredients.
Spoon into bowls, top with shaved Parmesan and serve immediately.

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