"Barbiecore" is hot right now, as the media assumes we’re all eagerly anticipating the release of the new Barbie movie. Everywhere you turn, there’s something pink-colored that you’re supposed to buy, try, or eat. So I decided to make TikTok’s viral Barbie pasta for my pasta-obsessed family, thinking it would be a fun way to mix up dinner. But was it any good?
Look around and you'll find myriad versions of this recipe on both Reddit and TikTok. The common thread is that each recipe uses some version of beets and some version of dairy. People seemed to rave about the idea online.
"Looks like Pepto-Bismol but I’m sure it tastes great!" comments @Personal_Village7778 in a Reddit thread about the dish. I mean, who wouldn't want to eat florescent pink pasta, right? Especially when there are so many ways to make it.
On TikTok, @gtfovegan shows boiled beets and vegan sour cream being blended together and poured on pasta — easy peasy.
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@gtfovegan BARBIE Pasta 💅💖🍝 #pasta #italianfood #pink #barbie #barbiepasta ♬ original sound - gtfovegan
For my version, I decided to try beet root powder, as some people recommended on Reddit. I figured it was higher in antioxidants and easier to control the color saturation. I grabbed a tub of goat cheese, but feta cheese is also a popular choice.
As the pasta boiled, I used a hand blender to mix the ingredients, and yeah, that was dumb. Note to self and anyone else apparently as clueless as me: Do not use this method for mixing beets unless you are very adept at getting the angle right so that red drops don't go flying all over your counter.
Once the mess was cleaned up, I thought to myself, this should be pretty simple to make, right? Well, the color was just off. With no goat cheese left, I added some leftover cream cheese to try to make it more pink. Still, it was just ... red. I searched through my fridge and found cottage cheese and dumped that in. Now it was lumpy instead of smooth — and still not very pink. It looked like something better suited for Halloween than a toy doll. The package said to use a tablespoon of beet root powder, and apparently that would've sufficed for a vat of sauce.
I couldn't help but think that my coworkers Lacey Muszynski and Rachel Schneider, both of whom know their way around a kitchen, should've taken this assignment — not me, the kitchen dud. But here we are, so I tried to fix my mess.
I mixed just a little bit of my chunky beet sauce creation with the pasta. And hey! It worked! Pink(ish) pasta. But now the test was the flavor. I sprinkled a little parmesan cheese on and took a bite. Not bad, but ... overwhelmingly beet-flavored, as you might expect. Perhaps a little bit of fresh beets and more cheese would've been the way to go for a less “beety” flavor? I personally like beets well enough, but if you don’t, I'm not the one to help you figure out how to get the beet flavor out of beets.
The real test was what my family thought. My daughter came into the kitchen, and I excitedly told her I had pink(ish) pasta for her dinner. “Eww, that looks gross,” she exclaimed, and walked out. Sigh.
Long story short? I’m sticking with canned vodka sauce next time — or at least trying another TikTok pasta recipe.