Inspired by Food & Wine

Makes 4 servings


  • ¾ lb carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • Juice from 1 orange
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 cups penne
  • 3 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 T chopped tarragon


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. In a medium saucepan, combine the carrots with the orange juice and ¼ cup of water. Season with the salt and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer until the carrots are soft, roughly 30 minutes. Transfer the carrots and liquid to a blender and puree until smooth.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large saucepan of boiling, salted water until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water and continue to drain the pasta.
  3. Return the pasta to the pot along with the reserved cooking water and the carrot puree. Cook over moderate heat, stirring frequently until the pasta is coated with a thickened sauce, about 5 minutes. Stir in ¾ of the cheese and cook for another 2-3 minutes while stirring and until creamy. Stir in the tarragon and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Transfer the pasta to a medium baking dish and top with the remaining cheese. Bake until the cheese is melted and lightly browned, about 20 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.