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Orecchiette With Roasted Carrot Sauce


Last night I made this carrot sauce for pasta. The people I was serving it to were really skeptical of the whole idea, but in the end everyone seemed to like it. I thought it was awesome, but just needed a little more depth of flavor, perhaps from more parm, wine, or cooking time. There is lots of leftovers of the sauce, some I will probably turn into soup, but also use some for more pasta. I had fun making this because I do not get to experiment as much as I like in the kitchen these days. I have to say that this whole recipe was Mandi's idea. She mentioned it to me awhile back and I couldn't wait to finally try it. We had a ton of carrots in the fridge that we probably would never use, so I thought now was a perfect time.

Thats a lot of carrots! I used about 5 lbs.

Covered in olive oil and salt.

After they baked about 25 minutes, I processed them with some water.

Some onions in olive oil. This is how I start most tomato sauces, but instead of adding garlic next, I did a mix of ginger and garlic since ginger is a natural pairing for carrots.

I added a little of the puree first, kinda like sauteing the tomato paste at the beginning of a tomato sauce.

Then the rest went in. But this was too thick, so what to add? I already added water, so i didn't want to dilute the flavor anymore.

So I added cream, chicken stock, and wine.

Then for flavorings, coriander, parm, and parsley, all great pairs with carrots.

Why do I always end up filling this pot? Today it was because the sauce was too thick and bland and I had to add more liquids and flavorings than expected.

As always, be sure to mix the sauce and pasta when everything is hot.

The idea of the sausage came because anise flavors match well with carrots and there is fennel seed in most italian sausages.

Everyone I fed this was skeptical when I first said carrot sauce, but I think ended up liking it at the end. I felt that it was close to awesome. The flavors were there, but it needed to be a bit deeper and richer, perhaps just with more salt, parm, wine, cooking time, and maybe less water in the processing phase.

Carrot sauce.
5 lbs carrots

Salt and pepper carrots and cut into similar sized chunks. Roast at 400 for 25 minutes or until a fork goes through a carrot easily. Puree in a food processor in batches, using water to form a creamy consistancy. Use as little water as possible. Set this puree aside.

1 onion
6 cloves garlic
Thumb sized peice of ginger
teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 cup wine (any that is open or around)
1 cup parm shredded
1 cup half and half
1 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon coriander
Browned sausages

Makes: way too much sauce.
Saute onions in olive oil for 5 minutes, add pepper flakes, garlic and ginger, 1 minute, add a few heaping spoonfulls of the carrot puree and stir around for 2 minutes. Add the rest of the puree followed by the rest of the liquids and flavorings. Simmer for 10 minutes and adjust seasonings as needed. serve with pasta and mix in the sausages. this recipe makes way more sauce than you will ever need. we put some in the freezer, but you should probably half the recipe at least.


sad i couldnt be there for this dan. im gonna be doing it this weekend. this isnt quite what i was envisioning but it looks real good. i was thinking:

roast the carrots but also roast the garlic and onion, blend the carrots, strain 1/3 of them or so through a cheesecloth to help the thickness. brown some meat like we do for regular tomato sauce, season it with turmeric and slightly curryish spices (dash of garam marsala or somethin?)remove meat, saute onions and garlic with a lot of pepper flakes and i like your ginger idea too. then add the carrots and a can of tomatoes pureed for depth. then some sort of herb? i was thinking maybe thai basil cause i like your anise flavors point, but no parm i was thinking ricotta for an interesting texture/taste...

i also wanna make a carrot cheese sauce and make a baked carrot sauce mac and cheese with cauliflower maybe?

and also try a carrot sauce raw and compare the flavors to the roasted carrot sauce.

big plans for this weekend haha let ya know how it goes. can you tell ive been obsessed with carrots lately... hehe

Carrots in Bermuda suck. If you can find them, that is. Hit two stores last night and no carrots. And here I thought they were grown locally! Boo hiss.

Mand - you could also try cilantro instead of thai basil, or both.

I like the direction you went with this dish. A couple of things:

Coriander might have been a little much for the dish, as it goes well with the carrots, but also takes it's own note. You had a great start roasting the carrots, but perhaps caramelizing them first wold have rocked a bit.

If you had it, I would use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock, as that would help to mask the flavor. Finally, in place of wine, orange juice would be a good acid that would match the flavor of the carrots.

I love the addition of the Italian sausage.

Thank you for a great recipe!

oh damn. i want that NOW... sans sausage and sub vegetable stock for the chicken. no meat for me. try not to make fun... i get enough of it from my family. seriously though, going to make this...

Carrots are tough to make center stage, I feel like they are usually used to tie flavors together. I was kinda thinking a buerre blanc with orange (or grapefruit) and carrots over pasta, maybe with a drizzle of balsamic reduction and some parm to complement it. Perhaps some chicken scaloppine and some asparagus in there too. This looks muy bueno though.

MMMMMM!!!! Looks delicious! Can't wait to get this into my beard!

You said it was missing something deep and rich. I thought about this and it seems to me that roasting a little pumpkin flesh and/or a *red or orange sweet bell pepper* and blending it along with carrots would give the sauce great rich flavour!! You might want to peel the skin off the pumpkin/peppers after roasting. Just maybe.
I also would have let the carrots get a little browned for roasted flavour.

I've found there's only so much that wine can do for a sauce. :)
Happy hopping to ya'll carrot eaters!

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