Friday, April 2, 2010

Getting Vitamin A

 Nathanael and I are in the midst of planting our garden. Yesterday we spent the afternoon cleaning out our garden plot, and marking new rows in the sun and warm breezes. The space is pretty large, but I am still impressed by how many things we are planning to grow. The seeds that will go directly into the ground (which is most of them) have not been started yet, but 44 pots of more fragile seedlings are beginning to sprout on our windowsill. Some of the more unique things we will be growing this year include purple carrots and yellow carrots. Last year Nathanael grew three varieties of orange carrots and I have just finished the last batch of them from the freezer using this recipe.

Now, I know a lot of you probably don’t consider yourselves adventurous with your pasta, but I would dare to say that if you like white sauce you will find this a perfect place to work a little more orange onto your plate, and perhaps even into your regular list of recipes. The sauce is very mild depending on how much spice you add and the variety of carrots you use; grocery store carrots will result in the mildest. I recently served this sauce to some of my pickiest relatives and they all found it enjoyable, and even had seconds.

Creamy carrot pasta sauce
1lb carrots (the whole recipe is approximate, so just estimate)
4oz whole milk or cream
4oz fresh grated parmesan
freshly ground black pepper
a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg
1 Tbs butter
1 lb pasta of your choice

 Boil the carrots in salted water until they are soft, then puree them using a food processor, blender, or a ricer.

 Return to medium sauce pan and stir in milk, cheese, spices and salt, while heating gently. 
(If possible, grate fresh Parmesan and whole nutmeg instead of using a pre-powdered variety of either. )

Stir sauce and season to taste, adding more milk if you like a thinner sauce.  

Boil pasta in salted water according to directions, drain and toss with butter, serve with carrot sauce.

My recipe is adapted from the cookbook, More Great Italian Pasta by Diane Seed. If your library has this cookbook I recommend checking it out, there are a lot of creative sauces that would never have occurred to me, using a wide variety of vegetables and other ingredients. It also has superb watercolor illustrations which might inspire you in areas beyond just cooking.

*Edit: New photos added to provoke your appetite for this delicious and nutritious dish, March 28, 2011


  1. That looks wonderful. I will have to try it sometime.

  2. Sarah,
    Have you tried any recipes with acai (pronounced ah-sigh-ee) berry like fruit that grows on palm trees in the Brazilian Amazon. High in disease fighting antioxidants but it is rarely imported whole because it is so fragile but available in pulp packs, juice, powder and concentrated. I have seen the juice in quarts for over $8.00 but so far only have tasted it in teas. I found this recipe which tells of the berries deep purple color and flavor which resembles chocolate and blueberries.
    Acai Sorbet
    4 pure acai pulp smoothie packs (4oz each) thawed
    3/4 cup agave nectar
    2 Tbs. lemon juice
    Raspberries, for garnish

    Whisk together all ingredients, pour into 9-inch square metal pan. Put pan in freezer. Stir mixture with fork every half hour, scraping up frozen bits. When sorbet is firm enough, serve with raspberries. Store in air tight container for up to one week.

  3. Sarah,
    I was reading a magazine Healing Foods Cookbook by Vegetarian Times and founde this recipe:

    Pureed Cranberry Soup
    3 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
    5 cups organic cherry juice or cranberry-cherry juice
    1 cup sugar
    1/4 tsp ground cloves
    1 tsp ground cinnamon
    1/4 tsp ground white pepper
    1 tsp almond extract
    2 Tbs cornstarch
    1/4 cup dried cranberries
    1 1/2 cup sour cream for garnish
    10 small mint sprigs, optional

    Bring fresh cranberries, juice, sugar, spices and extract to a boil in 3 quart sauce pan over medium heat. Cover, reduce heat to low, cook 15 minutes. Transfer soup to blender and puree. Strain, return to saucepan and return to a boil, over medium heat. Blend cornstarch with 2 Tbs. water and stir into soup. Add dried cranberries: cook for 5 more minutes.Serve hot or cold with dollop of sour cream and sprig of mint.


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