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
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)
Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta.
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.
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.
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.
Top the pasta with some of the carrot top drizzle and cress, edible flowers, and/or toasted pine nuts (if using).