Monday, November 12, 2012

Recipe: Macaroni with Creamy Turnip & Leek Sauce

While my CSA share has kept me eating fresh local produce all season, it sometimes throws me for a loop. Occasionally I'll get a vegetable that I've never actually cooked with. That's when I have to get creative!

This week, it was turnips. They seem like a common enough vegetable. I've worked with potatoes and even parsnips, and I adore beets. But turnips were not yet a part of my cooking repertoire. Luckily, I love culinary experimentation! So I took a quick inventory of what I had on hand and came up with a game plan.

I had a box of whole wheat pasta, some veggie broth from a soup I'd made earlier in the week, and the turnips, leeks, and broccoli left from this week's CSA bag. I was out of almond milk, but I'd like to try this recipe with a non-dairy milk in place of the broth to make the sauce a little creamier. I discovered that the leeks were really what made the difference in this recipe, and I almost wish there'd been more of them. They were really what gave the sauce the depth of flavor I was hoping for. I used broccoli because that was what I had, and because it's super easy to cook with pasta, but I think any kind of veggies would be great in this dish.

Creamy leek sauce in the food processor

Macaroni with creamy turnip and leek sauce.

Macaroni with Creamy Turnip & Leek Sauce

  • 6 medium sized turnips, peeled and quartered
  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 leeks, chopped (white and light green parts)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 lb pasta (I used whole wheat elbows)

  1. Cook the pasta according to directions. Add the broccoli to cook with the pasta for the last 2 minutes of cook time. Strain pasta and broccoli, and set aside.
  2. Boil a large pot of water (I started boiling while I peeled & cut the turnips)
  3. Add turnips to boiling water, cook for 25 minutes (until soft)
  4. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Add leeks and cook to soften.
  5. Add turnips and leeks to food processor (or blender) along with thyme, nutritional yeast, salt, and pepper. Add a few tablespoons of broth, and blend until smooth, adding more broth as needed to desired consistency.
  6. Toss pasta and broccoli with the turnip leek sauce and serve.
  7. YUM!

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