Pasta with Carrots, Risotto-Style
I have had this recipe jotted down in a notebook for months. I eat pasta with carrots all the time, but tend to roast my veggies. Carrots get tossed with olive oil and a pinch each of salt and sugar, and they turn to candy when cooked at 375 while I get the pasta going.
A plate full of noodles and perfectly roasted carrots tossed with olive oil and a handful of grated cheese is a staple for me on busy weeknights.
The only real difference in this recipe is the onion and parsley, and of course–the cooking method. Onions and carrots are sautéed in butter, then the pasta is added until it’s toasted. Already-simmering chicken broth is added a bit at a time, and you stir until it’s almost evaporated before adding more. Like risotto, this dish took a bit more attention than simply throwing pasta in water and carrots in the oven until done. But it resulted in a flavorful and somewhat creamy version of the pasta I already know and love.
I originally saw this recipe at Saveur, who have adapted it slightly from Mark Bittman’s “The Minimalist Cooks Dinner.” I’m curious how the recipe was adapted. I enjoyed this dish, but felt something was lacking once I got a few bites in. A drizzle of balsamic reduction was just what it needed; that little bit of acid elevated everything to my idea of the perfect light dinner.
And let’s not forget the added carbs:
Pasta with Carrots, Risotto-Style from Saveur
8 cups chicken stock
- 5 tablespoons butter
- 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 lb. gemelli, uncooked
- 8 medium carrots, peeled, trimmed, and diced
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- leaves from 4 sprigs parsley, chopped
1. Bring stock to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to low to keep stock hot.
2. Melt 4 tbsp. of the butter in a medium heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until they begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Add uncooked pasta and carrots and cook, stirring often, until pasta is lightly toasted, about 5 minutes.
3. Add 1 cup of the hot stock at a time to the pasta, stirring constantly; wait until almost all the stock has been absorbed before adding more. Continue cooking and adding stock (you may have some stock left over) until pasta is tender but firm to the bite, 10–15 minutes.
4. Remove pot from heat and stir in the remaining 1 tbsp. butter and the parmigiano. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a warm serving dish and garnish with parsley. Serve with more freshly grated parmigiano, if you like.
SERVES 4 – 8