The grand thing about cooking is you can eat your mistakes. -Julia Child

Friday, June 5, 2009

Fettuccine with Parsnip Ribbons and Roasted Broccoli

I had four parsnips left in my refrigerator after the Roasted Parsnip and Carrot Salad. What to do with them? I mentioned in that previous parsnip recipe that most of the internet search results I was getting for parsnip recipes were coming back with soups and purees. Somehow I got lucky this time and stumbled across something that looked amazingly good.

The recipe involved parsnip ribbons. The idea seemed interesting - thin strips of that earthy peppery crunchy veggie mixed in with pasta. I didn't have all the ingredients on hand to make the original, nor did I want to per se (as it called for squid ink pasta and I'm definitely not interested in going that route), but I took the parsnip ribbon idea and ran with that.

I opted to mix them with some fettuccine, as I thought the parsnip ribbons would mix nicely with the ribbon-like pasta. I used a quality rainbow fettuccine, which added a nice color to the dish.  Going up a level from the pasta in a box to the nicer stuff in a bag paid off in terms of texture of the fettuccine; it was able to be cooked al dente without being gummy.  I recommend it.  I also thought some oven-roasted broccoli might be a nice compliment to the parsnip. I didn't opt for much in the way of sauce, instead relying on butter, quality olive oil, and garlic provide the flavor. Oh yeah, and the veggies, too. Believe me, they stepped up to the challenge - along with the dusting of Parmesan given the final dish, the flavor was more than present. Not in an "in your face" kind of way, but subtle goodness.

Fettuccine with Parsnip Ribbons and Roasted Broccoli
Inspired by (great blog name, no?)

Serves 4
Click for printable version

1/2 bunch broccoli, cut into small florets
3 cloves garlic (minced), divided
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
kosher salt
about 6 ounces fettuccine
freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons butter
5 scallions, sliced
2 parsnips
1/8 teaspoon chili flakes
1 tablespoon fresh sage, minced (or whatever you have available - basil, oregano, or parsley)
Shredded Parmesan cheese, to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, mix together the broccoli florets, one clove of minced garlic, one tablespoon olive oil, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Pour the broccoli into a roasting pan and cook until softened, about 10-12 minutes. Set aside.
In generously salted water, prepare fettuccine as directed on package. Drain when it just reaches al dente. (It is important to not overcook the pasta with this recipe.)
Clean and peel parsnips. To prepare parsnip "ribbons," run vegetable peeler along full lenth of parsnip, pressing in as you go. Make ribbons from both parsnips, avoiding any woody cores you may discover.
When pasta and broccoli are almost ready, heat 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add scallions and cook for a minute. Add remaining two cloves of garlic, parsnip ribbons, 1/8 teaspoon salt, chili flakes, and a generous pinch of black pepper. Cook until ribbons are softened, making sure garlic does not brown. Stir in broccoli and sage. When pasta is ready, add pasta to the center of the pan and stir or gently toss everything together to combine. Taste for salt and serve, topped with grated Parmesan.

Verdict? Okay, well, everything I post on here at least merits an mmmm/yummy/other exclamatory remark. But seriously - this is good. In an unexpected way. Literally. Since the parsnips are shaved thin, you get mouthfuls of both pasta and parsnip and are never sure which is coming when. It keeps your taste buds guessing. Go ahead and give them this experience, they'll be happy and so will you.


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