Vegetables and Pasta
3 tbsp. butter
1 small bunch thin carrots with leafy tops, thinly sliced on an angle (reserve 2 cups of the tops for the pesto)
1 small bulb fennel, quartered and very thinly sliced (reserve about 1/3 cup of the fronds for the pesto)
2 leeks—halved lengthwise, rinsed, and sliced on an angle
1 clove garlic, grated or chopped
Salt and white pepper or finely ground black pepper
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 lb. linguine or farro linguine
2 cups (packed) carrot tops, cleaned and dried
A handful (about 1/3 cup) each of fennel fronds, fresh basil, and fresh mint
½ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano (a couple of small handfuls)
About 1/2 cup good, fruity EVOO
About 1/4 cup toasted shelled pistachios (I like Sicilian pistachios)
1 lemon or lime, zested and juiced
About 3 tbsp. pepitas
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta.
Heat a large deep skillet over medium to medium-high. Add the butter. When it foams, add the sliced carrots and fennel, the leeks, and garlic; season with salt and white pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables soften, about 5 minutes. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Keep at a rolling simmer over medium heat.
Salt the boiling water. Add the pasta. Cook until 1 minute shy of the package directions.
In a food processor, pulse the pesto ingredients until combined; season with salt.
Reserve about 1 cup of the pasta cooking water. Drain the pasta. Add the pasta, cooking water, and pesto to the vegetables. Toss until the pasta and vegetables are coated with pesto.