Pasta comes in so many shapes and sizes, from monstrous, long tubes to the tiniest little dots. Puntine (pronounced poon-TEEN-eh) means “little points,” and that’s what these are. It’s a kind of pasta that’s perfect for soups and dishes like the one I’m offering here today.
This recipe starts off as sort of a pilaf, but ends as a creamy vegetable melange. The addition of beet greens gives it a great flavor and texture, and makes it a healthful dish with plenty of vitamin C and antioxidants.
If you can’t find puntine, a good substitute is orzo. They’re almost the same, except that orzo is a little bigger.
Puntine with Beet Greens
Makes 4 servings.
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ tablespoon unsalted butter
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon paprika
½ cup puntine or orzo
2 ½ cups vegetable broth
3 cups chopped beet greens
In a medium pan, heat the oil and butter until the butter is melted. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute.Sprinkle in the paprika. Add the puntine and toss so that all the pasta is coated. Toast the puntine for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.Pour in the broth and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to low, cover, and let it cook until the broth has been absorbed and the puntine is tender. If the broth is fully absorbed but the pasta isn’t cooked, add a little more water (about ¼ cup) and let it continued cooking until tender.
Add the beet greens and stir them in.Add another ¼ cup water and cover. Let it continue cooking until greens are tender, about 5 minutes. If the puntine starts to stick to the pan at any point, add a little water and stir. Grind in some pepper. If you feel that it needs salt, add some to your taste. Serve.