Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Carrot Ribbon Fettuccine

We are lucky enough in Madison to have our own local pasta company, R.P.'s Pasta. You can purchase it from at many of the local grocery stores or even buy it from Peter Robertson himself (R.P.'s founder) at the farmers' market. Dried pasta is mostly a vehicle for other flavors, but fresh pasta should be treated with a lighter hand because it is a treat in itself. This recipe gives fresh pasta the respect it deserves, weaving it together with strands of sweet carrot and savory Parmesan cheese, all dressed gently by fresh lemon juice and olive oil. Thought my pasta was made in town and my carrots purchased from the farmers' market, the most local ingredient of all was the basil I plucked fresh from my backyard for garnish. Most of what I've planted this year has not come even close to the harvesting stage, but being able to walk out my kitchen door for ingredients is one of the small gestures that has made my house most feel like a home since I moved in just one year ago. This recipe almost didn't come to pass as I intended to make it on a day that turned out to be quite chaotic, but making and eating this dish turned out to be the perfect reward for a tough day, not a burden to prepare when I was exhausted. A plate of glorious simplicity, this meal can easily grace the table from a healthy Meatless Monday to an elegant weekend dinner party.

Carrot Ribbon Fettuccine
adapted from The Kitchn
serves 4

4-5 medium sized carrots
12 ounces fresh whole wheat fettuccine pasta (or 8 ounces dried)
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 lemon (with zest removed for garnish)
1/4 cup shredded parmesan (plus a little more for garnish)
Fresh basil (for garnish)
Coarse sea salt

1. Peel the carrot skin and discard. Then, working from top to bottom, peel thin ribbons from the carrots. Spin the carrot as you go to get similar width strips (the remaining cores can be used for a salad later).

2. Cook and drain the pasta.

3. In a large skillet, sautee´ the carrot ribbons with 2T olive oil and a pinch of salt until they become just slightly limp (about 3 minutes on medium heat). Turn the heat to low and add the cooked pasta to the skillet. Add the juice from 1 lemon, 2 more tablespoons of olive oil and 1/4c shaved parmesan. Toss to combine, then plate.

4. Garnish each plate of pasta with a pinch each of: lemon zest, coarse salt, basil and parmesan. Enjoy!

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