Jill Dupleix's silverbeet 'pasta' in tomato sugo

Step aside zucchini "zoodles", hello silverbeet "pasta" in sugo.
Step aside zucchini "zoodles", hello silverbeet "pasta" in sugo. Photo: William Meppem

Cut silverbeet stalks into rigatoni-like lengths, cook them and toss them in tomato sugo and cheese, and it really feels like you're eating pasta.

INGREDIENTS

  • 400g can tomatoes, chopped
  • 250ml (1 cup) tomato passata
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp salted capers, rinsed
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • pinch of dried chilli, optional
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for serving
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 tsp sugar, if needed
  • 700g (1 bunch) silverbeet stalks, trimmed
  • 1 tbsp grated parmesan, plus extra for serving

METHOD

  1. To make the tomato sugo, combine the canned tomatoes, tomato passata, tomato paste, garlic, capers, oregano, chilli (if using) and olive oil in a saucepan. Rinse out the tomato can with a dash of water and add that tomatoey water as well. Season with salt and pepper and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until it thickens nicely. If it tastes a little sharp or acidic, add 1 teaspoon of sugar.
  2. Cut the silverbeet stalks into roughly the same width and length as penne or rigatoni. Cook in simmering salted water for 4 to 5 minutes or until just tender.
  3. Drain the stalks and shake dry, then add to the tomato sugo, tossing well. Add 1 tablespoon of grated parmesan and toss again. Serve in warm pasta bowls topped with a swirl of extra virgin olive oil and extra grated parmesan.

Serves 4

Tips:

  • This is also delicious baked in the oven. Just combine silverbeet and sauce, scatter with cheese and bake for 10 minutes at 200C.
  • Make it meaty! Skin a couple of Italian pork sausages, pinch the meat into a frypan and fry over medium heat, tossing well, until cooked through, then fold into the tomato sugo. Or swap the sugo for Bolognese.
  • Choose your bunch of silverbeet based on the quality of the stalks as well as the leaves. Funnily enough, the leaves will last in the crisper longer than the stalks, which tend to brown at the ends, so use the stalks first.
  • Serve the silverbeet leaves as a vegetable the next night, or on the side.

This recipe is from episode six of Good Food's new TV show, Good Food Kitchen, screening on Channel 9 at 1pm on Saturday, November 13, or catch up on 9Now.