Random Single Gal Recipe: Pretty In Pink Pasta With Beets, Zucchini, And Mozzarella

I had a “Chopped” moment in the kitchen last night when I realized I had a few beets in the fridge that I really needed to use, but — cue Ted Allen voiceover —  only the stovetop of my oven was working, so roasting was out of the question. I’d been feeling like pasta for awhile, so I sauteed the beets in a pan with some zucchini and garlic, added some cheese, and ended up with a seriously delicious dinner. This recipe is super easy, super healthy, and best of all, super PINK. It also tastes great the next day as a chilled pasta salad (like, “Oh, I guess I’m eating lunch at 10:30 AM ’cause I can’t wait any longer” — that great). Read on for the recipe!

Pretty In Pink Pasta With Beets, Zucchini, And Mozzarella

Serves 2 (this is technically a Coupled Gal Recipe, I guess, but it definitely works for 1, with lots of delish leftovers!)


  • 1/2 pound of rigatoni (or penne)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (plus more for tossing the pasta)
  • 3 medium-sized beets, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 medium-sized zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced (you can use less if you’re a weirdo who’s not obsessed with garlic)
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 8 ounces mozzarella (fresh or low moisture), diced into small cubes
  • Salt & pepper
  • Chopped parsley and grated Parmesan for garnish


1. Boil water for pasta. Just before it starts boiling, add a few generous pinches of salt to the water. Add pasta and cook until al dente. Strain, toss with olive oil, and set aside.

2. In a large saute pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add beets and cover, cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Add zucchini to beet pan and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until both are tender. Throw in the minced garlic and cook for a few additional minutes, uncovered, until everything is tender and slightly caramelized (and hot pink).

4. Remove veggies from heat. Add pasta, diced mozzarella, and balsamic vinegar to veggie mix and toss (you can either do this right in the sautee pan or in a large bowl). Add salt and pepper to taste. Marvel at how everything is now hot pink. Make a comment about how beets are “God’s food coloring.”

5. Serve, topping with a few sprinkles of chopped Italian parsley (because you totally keep some in the fridge at all times after reading this, right?) and grated Parmesan.

6. Eat! Enjoy! Pack up leftovers to take to work tomorrow and make all your coworkers sad that their lunches are decidedly less pink.