This dish—featuring ribbons of carrot masquerading as pasta in a cream sauce reminiscent of Fettuccine Alfredo—is a great way to get kids of all ages eating more vegetables. It is a perfect side dish or Meatless Monday Main.
It is crazy to me how many people say they don’t like cooked carrots. I think this recipe created by Sara Moulton from her 4th cookbook; Home Cooking 101 – How to Make Everything Taste Better is a game changer.
I recently had the privelege of meeting Sara at a media luncheon at Melissa’s Produce where we tasted several of her delightful dishes.
It was a packed house and we hung on every word from this culinary genius.
According to Sara, good cooking is about the details: having the pan hot enough, salting at the right moment, using certain techniques to maximize flavor as well as balancing the five components of taste (sweet, salty, bitter, sour, and umami).
Home Cooking 101 is a fabulous collection of a 150 recipes as well as a teaching manual aimed at the home cook. I have been to culinary school and still found a wealth of information and tips that can be used in everyday cooking.
Sara is my long time culinary hero. I remember when I was working at Fox Sports and insisted everyone in the room watch Cooking Live on the Food Network, and we all became better cooks for it. She is as delightful in person as she is on TV. You can currently watch Sara on public television’s Sara’s Weeknight Meals.
Here are a few of the dishes we sampled.
Root Vegetable Bourguignon pg. 216 & Spicy Creamed Corn with Roasted Hatch Chile, Scallions & Fresh Basil pg. 288
Sara includes s a summer & winter version of this crazy good corn recipe that doesn’t include cream, since the natural starch in corn provides enough creaminess.
Fancy Stuffed Eggs with Truffle Zest & Fresh Chives pg.288 & Beef Stroganoff Burgers w/ Dried Porcini Mushrooms, Perfect Sweet Onions & Peeled Garlic pg. 154
Bananas Foster Crepes pg. 323 & Strawberry Cannoli Calzones pg. 328
Lemony Carrot “Fettuccini” cooks quickly and the carrot ribbons can be made in advance to save even more time.
I used multi-colored carrots which the purple ones caused the sauce to go pink, which I thought was kind of fun. I used the full eight ounces of the Neufchatel cheese to create an extra creamy sauce.
Once cooked, you’ll want to serve before the ribbons go soft. Happily, cooking this dish is simple enough to do at the last minute. And it’s both delicious and filling.
- ½ cup chopped pistachios
- 2 pounds large carrots, peeled and stem ends discarded
- 1 cup homemade vegetable stock or store-bought vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 6 to 8 ounces Neufchatel (1/3-less-fat cream cheese)
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread the pistachios in a single layer in a shallow baking dish and bake them on the middle shelf of the oven until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Remove and set aside.
- Meanwhile, using a swivel blade or a Y-shape vegetable peeler, peel the carrots into long, fettuccine-like strands, discarding the core (or, save it for a snack or a stock).
- Combine the vegetable stock, lemon zest, a hefty pinch of salt, and several grinds of pepper in a large skillet; whisk the mixture until the zest is well distributed.
- Break up the cream cheese into small pieces and add it to the skillet along with the carrot strands. Cover the skillet tightly and bring the stock to
- a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer the carrots, covered, 3 minutes. Remove the lid, and stir the carrots gently with tongs to make sure that the cheese is well distributed. Cover and simmer just until the carrots are tender, 1 to 2 minutes more.
- Stir in the lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Mound the carrot "fettuccine" on each of 4 plates and top each portion with one-fourth of the toasted pistachios and the chives.
Quote of the Day:
“Cooking and dining together with your loved ones is the recipe for a good life.” – Sara Moulton
“Sara’s recipes make cooking and dining a real joy in my house.” – Cathy
…and then, she paused for thought.
Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. I received a copy of Sara Moulton’s Home Cooking 101 cookbook to cook with, all opinions are my own.