Among the in-house fresh pasta offerings at Berkeley Bowl are two varieties made with purple beets, including a fettucine-sized package and a slightly thicker cut noodle. After road testing them in the kitchen, we're comfortable declaring that this could be a great beet gateway for anyone who is shy on the root.
A little bit of magic happens when they're dropped in boiling water -- the noodles transform from a nice hue of reddish purple into a paler, pinkish color. We dressed our cooked pasta with some lemon-infused olive oil and black pepper, expecting a strong beet flavor. Instead, it's very subtle; only one of those super-tasters with eighty billion taste buds on their tongues would likely be able to call out beets as one of the notes in here. For the rest of us, it's a lesson in Deceptively Delicious cooking, where you can sneak in a perhaps controversial healthy ingredient to trick people into loving it.