Beet Pasta also known as “Barbie pasta
Posted October 5, 2023 by: Admin
Transform roasted beets into a luxurious and velvety pasta sauce with this delectable beet pasta recipe. It’s a versatile option that pairs wonderfully with your preferred pasta, making it an ideal choice for a delightful and family-friendly weeknight dinner.
This vibrant pink pasta dish, also known as “Barbie pasta,” gained popularity on TikTok, prompting me to create my own version. While the original recipe by Kat Clark used Greek yogurt, and other variations have featured goat cheese, cottage cheese, and sour cream, I find that feta cheese complements the sweet roasted beets perfectly with its salty undertones.
Not only do these flavors harmonize exceptionally well, but the addition of feta cheese also contributes a protein boost to this creamy beet pasta. Whether you savor it as a vegetarian main course or a side companion to grilled meats, this colorful beet pasta sauce adds a playful twist to pasta night while increasing your veggie intake.
What Makes It Irresistible
- Effortless – If you can turn on the oven, boil water, and operate a blender, crafting this pasta is a breeze.
- Lusciously Creamy – The blend of roasted beets and feta cheese results in a luxuriously creamy pasta sauce.
- Abundant in Veggies – Sneak in more vegetables into your diet with this beet pasta.
- Radiant Hues – The tender beets infuse a bright and visually appealing pink hue to your pasta creation.
- Meal Prep-Friendly – This recipe stores well in both the refrigerator and freezer, making it an excellent choice for prepping ahead.
- Pasta – Opt for short-cut pasta like rigatoni, fusilli, or penne, or go for the long pasta varieties such as spaghetti, linguine, or bucatini.
- Beets – The star ingredient for the creamy beet pasta. Red beets work beautifully, but golden beets can be a delightful alternative. If preferred, you can also use pre-cooked beets (see recipe notes).
- Feta – To impart creaminess and a protein boost. Other options include plain goat cheese, mascarpone cheese, or ricotta cheese.
- Shallot – To infuse flavor into the sauce, although a small onion can serve as a substitute if necessary.
- Garlic – For an aromatic touch.
- Olive Oil – Used for roasting the beets.
- Lemon Juice – To balance the acidity in the creamy beet sauce.
- Salt and Pepper – For seasoning.
Additionally, consider garnishing with freshly grated Parmesan cheese, lemon zest, and finely chopped herbs like parsley, basil, dill, or mint.
To Make It Gluten-Free: Opt for gluten-free pasta.
To Make It Dairy-Free: Substitute with 1/2 cup of canned full-fat coconut milk.
Steps to Craft Roasted Beet Pasta
- Roast the Beets: Place the beets, shallot, and garlic in a baking dish, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and roast until tender.
- Cook the Pasta: In a large pot of salted water, cook the pasta until al dente.
- Blend the Sauce: Combine the roasted beets, shallot, garlic, feta, and lemon juice in a blender with pasta water and blend until smooth.
- Mix It All Together: Drain the cooked pasta and return it to the pot. Pour the beet pasta sauce over it and mix until thoroughly combined.
- Serve Promptly: Spoon the pasta into bowls and garnish with additional cheese and fresh herbs as desired.
Detailed instructions can be found in the recipe card below.
Ideal Pairings for Beet Pasta
This roasted beet pasta shines as a delightful vegetarian main course. However, for added protein, consider serving it alongside grilled chicken, steak, or salmon. To boost the fiber content, serve with steamed vegetables such as asparagus, broccoli, or green peas, or accompany it with a simple green salad.
While beets may not be everyone’s favorite, they are an underappreciated vegetable that offers low calories, high fiber content, and a rich assortment of micronutrients like folate, manganese, and copper (1). Beets also possess various anti-inflammatory properties and can enhance cardiovascular health by lowering blood pressure and increasing blood flow (2).
Explore More Beet Recipes
For additional beet-inspired culinary adventures, consider trying my French lentil and beet salad, beet soup, baked veggie chips, roasted root vegetables, and roasted vegetable salad.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Does Beet Pasta Taste Like?
The sweet and earthy essence of roasted beets, complemented by the savory notes of feta cheese, creates a harmonious, rich, and creamy sauce for beet pasta, without an overwhelming beet flavor.
Is Peeling Beets Necessary Before Roasting?
While it’s not mandatory to peel beets before roasting, removing the skin results in a smoother pasta sauce. You can choose to peel the beets either before or after roasting.
Is Roasting or Boiling Beets Preferred?
Roasting beets accentuates their natural sugars, yielding a sweeter and more caramelized flavor, whereas boiling dilutes their flavor.
Storage and Reheating
To Refrigerate: Allow the pasta to cool completely, then transfer it to an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to 5 days.
To Freeze: Once cooled, transfer the pasta to an airtight container and store it in the freezer for up to 3 months.
To Reheat: Thaw the pasta completely before reheating. On the stovetop, heat the pasta in a pan with 1-2 tablespoons of water over medium heat, stirring gently, until warmed through and the water has been absorbed. Alternatively, microwave the pasta in a microwave-safe container with 1-2 tablespoons of water for 2-3 minutes, stirring every minute until heated through.
This beet pasta recipe is straightforward to prepare, bursting with vibrant colors, delightful flavors, and essential nutrients. Enjoy it as a main course or a side dish alongside grilled meats.
- 1 pound of short-cut pasta, such as rigatoni
- 1 pound of red beets (approximately 2 large beets)
- 1 shallot or small onion
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 4 ounces of feta cheese (about 1 cup crumbled)
- 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
- Salt to taste
- Black pepper to taste
- Finely chopped fresh herbs for garnish
- Preheat your oven to 400°F and thoroughly wash the beets to remove any excess dirt.
- Using a kitchen peeler, peel the beets to remove the skin. Trim the ends off the beets and slice them into 1/4 to 1/2-inch wedges. Slice the shallot in half lengthwise.
- In a casserole dish or on a baking sheet, place the sliced raw beets, sliced shallot, and garlic cloves (with the skin on). Drizzle with olive oil, season generously with salt and pepper, and toss until everything is coated in oil. Transfer the dish to the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the beets are tender and can be easily pierced with a fork.
- When there are 10 minutes left on the beets’ cooking time, bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Once boiling, add the pasta and cook until it reaches al dente or follow the package instructions.
- While the pasta cooks, scoop out 1 cup of pasta cooking water and set it aside.
- Once the beets are roasted, remove the casserole dish from the oven. After allowing it to cool for a minute or two, trim the end of the shallot and press the garlic cloves out of their skin.
- In a high-speed blender, combine the roasted beets, onion, garlic cloves, feta, lemon juice, and 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water. Blend until you achieve a smooth sauce. Add more starchy pasta water as needed to reach your desired consistency.
- Once the pasta is cooked and drained, return it to the pot you cooked it in. Pour the beet sauce over the pasta and gently stir to ensure it’s evenly coated.
- Serve the pasta immediately, garnishing with additional feta, parmesan cheese, lemon zest, and/or parsley if desired. Any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
To Use Pre-Cooked Beets: Instead of roasting the vegetables as per step #3, mince the shallot and garlic and sauté them in olive oil in a pan until tender. Once cooked, add them to a food processor to make the beet pasta sauce as per step #7.
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 408 calories
- Sugar: 8 grams
- Fat: 10 grams
- Carbohydrates: 66 grams
- Fiber: 5 grams
- Protein: 14 grams