Pic of Beetroot, chilli and rosemary spaghetti with mozzarella and watercress salad

Beetroot, chilli and rosemary spaghetti with mozzarella and watercress salad

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Vegetarian mains

Beetroot, chilli and rosemary spaghetti with mozzarella and watercress salad

Main Serves 2 25 min
This is a vibrant, colourful dish, with the beetroot turning the pasta a jewel-coloured purple. It's earthy and warm with rosemary and chilli, with fresh buffalo mozzarella cheese. If you're using fresh pasta, depending on your appetite, you may want to use a little more - we recommend 250g for a generous portion. Serve with a watercress or peppery leaf salad.

Cook's notes

If you're not sure how much chilli to add, test its strength by trying a smidge of it, from the middle (chillies get hotter from the tip up). If you ever try a chilli or curry dish that's too hot for you, don't drink water, that just intensifies the flavour. Try milk or a spoon of yoghurt; dairy tempers the heat. If you don't have mozzarella, a sheep's cheese e.g. feta will work too.


  • oil for frying e.g. sunflower or light olive
  • 1 red onion, finely sliced
  • 1 good sprig rosemary, leaves finely chopped to resemble breadcrumbs
  • 200g wholewheat spaghetti
  • 1 chilli, finely chopped
  • 400g beetroot, peeled and coarsely grated
  • 25g Parmesan or vegetarian equivalent, grated
  • 50g walnut pieces, toasted for 2 mins in a dry frying pan
  • 1 ball mozzarella
  • salt and pepper


Prep time: 5 min
Cooking time: 20 min
  • Step 1

    Put a large pan of well-salted water on to boil.
  • Step 2

    Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a separate, good-sized pan. Add the red onion and rosemary. Fry on a low heat, stirring now and then, for 10 mins. If it looks like catching at any point, add a splash of water.
  • Step 3

    Cook the spaghetti according to the pack instructions, until just tender (al dente). Drain into a colander once cooked and run under cold water to cool it and prevent it from sticking together, then leave to drain in the colander.
  • Step 4

    Once the onion has softened, add the chilli and beetroot. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Step 5

    Cook, stirring often, for 5 mins, adding a few tbsp of water to help soften the beetroot.
  • Step 6

    Add the pasta to the beetroot mixture. Toss together to warm it through. Stir in the Parmesan and half the walnuts. Taste for seasoning.
  • Step 7

    Divide the pasta between 2 serving bowls. Break up the mozzarella and dot it over the top. Sprinkle with the remaining walnuts.