Creamy Carrot Mac 'N' Cheese Fake-Out with Carrot Top Drizzle
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Creamy Carrot Mac 'N' Cheese Fake-Out with Carrot Top Drizzle

Ingredients

Carrot Sauce

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil

  • 1 lb. carrots with leafy tops, peeled and cut on an angle into 1/2-inch pieces (save the tops for the drizzle)

  • Salt and finely ground white or black pepper

  • 1-inch piece of fresh turmeric, peeled and grated, or 1 tsp. (about 1/3 palmful) ground turmeric

  • 1 tsp. cayenne hot sauce (I like Frank’s RedHot)

  • 1 tsp. each (about 1/3 palmful) ground coriander and dry mustard

  • 3 cloves garlic—thinly sliced, grated, or chopped

  • 1 tsp. each orange zest and lemon zest (from 1 orange and 1 lemon)

  • ½ cup white wine

  • ½ cup vegetable stock

Carrot Top Drizzle

  • 1 cup (packed) leafy carrot tops

  • A fat handful of fresh mint leaves

  • ¼ cup fresh tarragon leaves

  • 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice (from about 1/2 lemon)

  • 1 fat clove garlic, crushed

  • 1 tsp. (about 1/3 palmful) crushed red pepper or 1 jalapeño chile, seeded

  • ⅓ cup EVOO

  • Salt

To Finish

  • Salt

  • 1 lb. penne (semolina or gluten-free corn) or other short cut pasta (such as conchiglie, farfalle, or short fusilli)

  • 1 jar (4 oz.) chopped pimientos, drained

  • Upland cress, edible flowers, and toasted pine nuts, for serving (optional)

Preparation

  • Step 1

    Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta.

  • Step 2

    In a large heavy skillet with a lid, heat the olive oil, about two turns of the pan, over medium to medium-high. Add the carrots; season with salt and white pepper. Add the turmeric, hot sauce, coriander, and mustard. Cover and cook, stirring often, until the carrots are crisp-tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in the garlic and the orange and lemon zests. Add the wine and cook, stirring often, until absorbed, about 1 minute. Add the stock. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, stirring often, until the carrots are tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a blender. Puree the carrots until creamy, about 30 seconds; season the carrot sauce with salt.

  • Step 3

    For the drizzle, in a food processor, pulse the carrot tops, mint, tarragon, lemon juice, garlic, and crushed red pepper until finely chopped. With the machine running, gradually add the EVOO; season the carrot top drizzle with salt.

  • Step 4

    Salt the boiling water and add the pasta. Cook until al dente. Scoop out about 3/4 cup of the starchy cooking water. Drain the pasta. Return the pasta and cooking water to the pot. Stir in the carrot sauce and pimientos; season.

  • Step 5

    Top the pasta with some of the carrot top drizzle and cress, edible flowers, and/or toasted pine nuts (if using).

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This recipe originally appeared on the Rachael Ray Show. For more recipes and videos from...
This recipe originally appeared on the Rachael Ray Show. For more recipes and videos from...
This recipe originally appeared on the Rachael Ray Show. For more recipes and videos from...