Beets – The Surprising New Pasta

Barbabietola Pasta d'oro

Barbabietola Pasta d’oro

If you have been following my blog this week, you already know my favorite way to eat beets is raw and prepared with a spiralizer using a thin blade. Prepared this way it seems as if I am eating an exotic pasta: the colors are bold and beautiful and captivate even those who don’t like beets–I know because a close friend (who I’ve given the handle of “Max”) who rarely eats vegetables and is use to eating a box food with a twenty-year shelf-life, loves “beet pasta”. And because Max loves Italians (he’s Italian–I’m not sure what happened to the Italian ‘cooking gene’) and to give it more flair, I’ve named the dish Barbabietola Pasta d’oro (Golden Beet Pasta).

As I’ve mentioned when root vegetables are prepared using a spiralizer with a thin blade and small teeth their rather heavy and distinct tastes become light, mild and quite refreshing.

This pasta is made with raw golden beets and raw sweet potatoes. After washing the beets and sweet potatoes, I generally leave skins on and use a spiralizer with a thin blade/teeth. I like the  Benriner spiralizer because it is easy to clean and you can quickly change the blades.

I typically add whatever I have on hand but Max likes Kalamata olives, sliced sweet bell peppers (I only use organic because sweet peppers are one of the “Dirty Dozen“) and chopped cherry tomatoes. I toss the pasta with a balsamic vinaigrette and always use a high quality California extra virgin olive oil. The variations on this dish are endless, prep time is quick and clean-up minimal since there are no pots or pans.

Red beets will bleed and have a more distinct taste–even when using a spiralizer. If I use red beets and I know I have someone who is “beet shy”  I use it as a garnish.

Bits & Bites

  • Beet roots are a source of fiber, folate, potassium, iron, magnesium, manganese, vitamin C.
  • What’s red? After some people eat red beets, their urine or stools turn red. This is  a “harmless condition called beeturia or betaninuria. Because this looks like blood, someone who doesn’t know it is caused by beets can become alarmed…” For more information see Beeturia and World’s Healthiest Foods.
  • For everything you’ve ever wanted to know about beets–their health benefits, the healthiest methods of cooking beets, beets and oxalates and whether beeturia could indicate an iron deficiency see the World’s Healthiest Foods. And enjoy your beets!
  • If you need information on a spiralizer see this post.

Enjoy!

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