Carrot Linguine with Pesto

You wanna be on (carrot) top?
38 Ratings
100% would make again
One-Pan Carrot Linguine with Carrot-Top Pesto
Photo: Rachel Vanni/Tasting Table

This bowl of pasta is the ultimate ode to carrots. Linguine cooks in a skillet of carrot juice until the juice reduces to coat the cooked noodles. Then, it's topped with pickled carrots, carrot-top pesto and fresh carrot tops for a serious punch of flavor that uses the whole vegetable, from root to tip. Garlic and chile flakes perfume the slightly sweet but earthy pasta before the whole thing gets showered with grated Parmesan.

It's a great dish for entertaining, because you can make the pesto and pickled carrots the morning of your dinner party. That way, when your guests arrive, all you need to do is cook the one-pan pasta before plating and serving. Start to finish, that part takes only about 15 minutes, so you can spend more time with your guests.

To learn more, read "Orange Crush."

Carrot Linguine with Carrot-Top Pesto

Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Prep Time: 25 minutes, plus cooling time

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes, plus cooling time


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


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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