Pasta with Parsnips

Serves 2 generously, 4 as a pasta appetizer.

This delicious dish, made of somewhat unlikely ingredients is a winner. We found it easier to roast the parsnips early in the day, cook the pasta a few minutes in advance and assemble the other things later.

3 medium parsnips (3/4 pound)
1 ½ tbsp olive oil, more for drizzling
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
6 to 8 oz campanelle or farfalle pasta
¼ lb. bacon, diced
1 medium leek, thinly sliced
¾ cup heavy cream
2/3 cup grated Parmagiano Reggiano or Pecorino Romano cheese
2 tbsp chopped Italian parsley

Pre-heat oven to 400º F.

  1. Toss parsnips with oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast, tossing occasionally until tender and golden, about 25 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add salt and coo pasta according to package directions until 1 minute before al dente. Set aside.
  3. In a large skillet on medium-high heat, brown and crisp bacon, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon and drain on a paper towel. If desired remove all but 1 tbsp of grease from the pan.
  4. Return skillet to heat and add leeks. Cook in remaining bacon fat until tender. Add heavy cream and cooked bacon. Simmer mixture until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes.
  5. Stir in pasta, parsnips and cheese. Simmer until cheese is melted, then remove from heat.
  6. Season with salt and pepper and toss with parsley. Drizzle with olive oil and serve with plenty of freshly ground black pepper on top.

Source: Melissa Clark, New York Times, January 29, 2014

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