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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.