Chickpea Penne with Pesto & Roasted Beets

Plant-based food can be deceptively simple, yet amazingly delicious. Toss together arugula pesto, vibrant beets, chickpea pasta, a simple dressing, and voila! A plant-based, 4-serving dinner for plant-powered people.


For beets

  • 3 medium beets
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt

For pesto

  • 2 packed cups arugula
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan (2 ounces)
  • ⅓ cup toasted walnuts
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ cup olive oil

To assemble and serve


  1. Preheat oven to 400°
  2. In a medium baking pan, place beets, drizzle with oil, and add ½ cup water. Cover tightly with foil and bake until beets are tender, about 45 minutes. Remove foil, place beets back in oven, and roast until water is evaporated and beets start to caramelize, about 15 minutes. Let cool slightly, then peel beets, slice into rounds, and sprinkle with salt.
  3. While beets roast, in a food processor combine arugula, Parmesan, walnuts, garlic, and salt. Pulse until finely ground. With machine running, add oil in a thin steady stream until combined.
  4. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add salt. Add penne and cook until tender, 8-10 minutes. Drain well, transfer to a large bowl, and toss with pesto to taste (reserve remaining pesto for another use). Taste and add more salt if needed. Serve topped with beets and drizzled with balsamic vinegar.