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Spinach & Red Beet Penne with Smoked Mackerel

Spinach & Red Beet Penne with Smoked Mackerel
Spinach & Red Beet Penne with Smoked Mackerel

When I used to live in Curacao (not that far ago), I had cable TV, I believe 100+ channels, however, as most people, I stuck within 3 different channels (all related to food) and occasionally the house design channel. Anyways, long story, short, here in The Netherland I'm addicted to a TV channel (24 Kitchen) and I'm always fascinated to learn the "European" way to dishes I know. One of the recipes that stuck the most in my head was the "penne met rode biet en geitenkaas" from Miljuschka Witzenhausen, so I decided to go all out for it, in the process (as usual with me) I tweaked the recipe and this is what it came out.

This recipe yields ± 6 portions. Ingredients: 500 gr. of dry penne (boiled under al dente & divided into 2 portions) 3 cups of baby spinach 1 onion (chopped) 1 cup of vegetable broth. 4 red beets (boiled & blended in the food processor ± 4 cups) 1/2 tablespoon of dark honey 2 stalks of leek (washed & chopped) 350 gr. of goat cheese 4 tablespoons of butter 600 gr. of smoked mackerel (deboned and flaked out) Salt and Pepper to taste.

Directions: 1. In a pan add 2 tablespoons of butter and sauté the onion with spinach, season with salt and pepper. Once the onions are cooked and the spinach is wilted, add the vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Then, proceed to add half of the penne, finish cooking, turn the heat off and add 175 gr. of goat cheese, mix well until all melted and incorporated into the sauce. 2. In another pan, add 2 tablespoons of butter, the leeks once the leeks have cooked (± 5 minutes), add in the red beet juice, season with salt and pepper, add the rest of the pasta and the goat cheese, combine well, turn the heat off and add the honey, give it a final stir. 3. Serve warm and add on top the smoked fish. Tips: 1. In the original recipe Miljuschka sprinkled pine nuts on top (I forgot that), that would complete the flavor profile. 2. The contrast between the sweet from the beet, the creaminess and acidity of the cheese and the saltiness & richness of the fish, is like having a full party in one bite. 3. I decorated the plate with a tomato rose and an edible flower, just for pretty.



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