Carrot Linguine with Carrot-Top Pesto


INGREDIENTS

For the Pickled Carrots:

  • 4 small, multicolored carrots, peeled and thinly sliced lengthwise with a mandoline
  • ½ cup white wine vinegar
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Pinch red pepper flakes

For the Carrot-Top Pesto:

  • 1 cup carrot tops, plus more for garnish
  • ½ cup basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • Kosher salt, to taste

For the Carrot Linguine:

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound dried linguine
  • 4 cups carrot juice
  • Kosher salt, to taste

METHOD:

1. Make the pickled carrots: Place the sliced carrots in a small, heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan, combine the remaining pickled carrot ingredients over high heat and bring to a boil. Cook until the sugar dissolves, 1 minute, then pour over the sliced carrots. Make sure the carrots are fully submerged in the pickling liquid, then let cool completely.

2. Meanwhile, make the carrot-top pesto: In a food processor, combine the carrot tops, basil, pine nuts, Parmesan, lemon juice and zest, garlic and red pepper flakes. Pulse until combined and finely minced. With the motor running, slowly pour in the olive oil until a smooth pesto forms, scraping the sides as needed. Season with salt and set aside.

3. Make the carrot linguine: In a 12-inch, high-sided skillet, heat the olive oil, garlic and red pepper flakes over medium heat. Cook until the garlic is sizzling and lightly golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the pasta and carrot juice, then bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring often, until the pasta is al dente and the juice has reduced into a thick sauce that coats the noodles, 10 to 12 minutes. Season with salt.

4. Divide the pasta between plates and top with the carrot-top pesto and pickled carrots. Garnish with carrot-top leaves and grated Parmesan, then serve.

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