Spicy Carrot Pasta Sauce

Intro Collage

“Not for me the pile of buttered carrots on the plate.  Too sweet, too orange {too bloody cheerful more like it}.  But the carrot’s place is assured in my kitchen as the bringer of earthy sweetness, a backbone vegetable on which to build layers of flavor.” ~ Nigel Slater, Tender


Every week, without fail, I purchase more carrots at the farmers’ market than I probably should.  Their lacy green tops and bright orange color always catch my eye.  A family favorite, we enjoy them glazed, roasted and sautéed, as well as in this soup and that one, even in pudding.  In the summer, they generally are eaten raw and cold as a quick snack or a crunchy companion to a sandwich or salad at lunchtime.  There is never any waste…the carrot greens are trimmed off as soon as we get home from the weekend market and become a special treat {along with any unused carrots from the week prior} for our horses and bunny rabbit.


So, when I stumbled upon this highly unusual recipe for “Hot Bunny” Pasta Sauce a few weeks ago I naturally had to give it a try.  The preparation is easy and comes together fairly quickly.  It can be prepared ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator…the sauce is quickly reheated during the final stage of preparing the pasta.  The key ingredients are few with the remaining players {honey, Dijon mustard, champagne vinegar, nutmeg, cinnamon, chicken stock, heavy cream} often being pantry and refrigerator staples.  As for the anchovy filets, I substitute anchovy paste.


The most time consuming part of the preparation lies with seeding the jalapeños and chopping the vegetables, which, in fact, does not take that long.  But, remember…the oil from the jalapeño seeds will remain on your fingers/hands for some time even after washing which can cause a definite burning sensation, {especially if you rub your eyes}.  When working with jalapeños or other spicy peppers I wear rubber gloves.


Finishing the pasta dish with a generous grating of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and fresh nutmeg provides a wonderful balance to the slightly sweet & spicy sauce.  A delicious alternative to traditional tomato~based pasta sauces.


And, when served with fresh greens dressed with a simple vinaigrette, this pasta dish becomes an easy meatless meal perfect for a weeknight dinner.



Spicy Carrot Pasta
For the Sauce
  1. 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  2. 1/2 of a 1.75~ounce tube of anchovy paste
  3. 3~4 medium-size carrots, peeled and diced
  4. 5 red jalapeño peppers (or large red Asian chili peppers), roughly diced
  5. 3 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves removed from stems
  6. 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  7. 1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
  8. 1/2 cup of chicken stock + another 1/2 cup
  9. 1/4 cup of heavy cream
  10. 3 cloves of garlic, peeled
  11. 1 1/2 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
  12. 2 teaspoons of raw honey
  13. 1/2 teaspoon of champagne vinegar
  14. 1/4 teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg
  15. 1/8 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
For the Pasta
  1. 1 pound of spaghetti pasta {I like to use thick bucatini}
  2. 6 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  3. 1/2 ~ 1 teaspoon of chili flakes {according to your tolerance for heat}
  4. Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  5. Nutmeg for grating
  6. Parmigiano Reggiano cheese for grating
Make the Sauce
  1. In a large sauce pot, melt the unsalted butter over medium-high heat and then add the anchovy paste, stirring to combine with the butter. Add the peeled and diced carrots, diced red jalapeño peppers {or large red Asian chili peppers}, fresh thyme leaves, salt and freshly ground black pepper, and sauté for 2 min. Add 1/2 cup of the chicken stock, then reduce the liquid until almost all evaporated, and the carrots have softened. Turn off the heat, and add the other 1/2 cup of chicken stock, and scrape the sides and bottom of the pot to release any browned bits.
  2. Transfer the mixture to a blender, then add the heavy cream, garlic, Dijon mustard, honey, vinegar, freshly grated nutmeg and cinnamon. Blend the mixture until as smoothly and evenly pureed as possible. Transfer to a jar and store in the fridge until needed.
Make the Pasta
  1. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to boil, and cook the spaghetti until just al dente.
  2. In another large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the extra virgin olive oil with chili flakes until fragrant. Add the spaghetti into the skillet, along with 1/4 cup of the pasta water, and the hot bunny sauce. Toss the pasta and the sauce together with tongs, and cook until the pasta water has evaporated. Serve the pasta with drizzles of extra virgin olive oil, more freshly grated nutmeg, and lots of grated Parmigiano cheese.
Adapted from Lady + Pups
Adapted from Lady + Pups
THE DINNER CONCIERGE http://thedinnerconcierge.com/
K Medium




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