This recipe is adapted from Mallmann On Fire, (Artisan, 2014), one of my favorite cookbooks from recent years. Save the greens for Carrot Top Pesto.
Serves 4 to 6
2 lbs. young carrots, trimmed, leaving a bit of the green, washed
3 cups vegetable or meat stock (homemade is always best)
1 cup dry white wine
2 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
6 black peppercorns
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Extra virgin olive oil for garnish
Preheat oven to 375˚F.
If some carrots are thicker than others, then halve them so they will cook evenly. Lay them in a single layer in a small roasting pan. Add the stock, wine, garlic, thyme, bay leaf and peppercorns and sprinkle with salt to taste. Cover with foil and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the carrots are very tender. Transfer the carrots to a serving dish and keep warm.
With the back of a fork crush the garlic and thyme into the cooking liquid. Set the roasting pan over medium heat for a minute or two, stirring to concentrate the flavor; adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper and strain.
Spoon the liquid over the carrots, drizzle with oil and serve.
This is the best marinara sauce: It has a soft consistency, is naturally sweet and foolproof. Plus it only takes about 30 minutes to make. The sauce freezes well.
Carrot-Sweet Marinara Sauce
Makes 4 cups
¼ cup olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
4 cups fresh or canned tomatoes pushed through a food mill to remove skin and seeds
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter
In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots and garlic. Cook until the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes.
Add the tomato puree and cook for 15 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbling. Do not overboil or the sauce will get too thick. Turn down the heat if you have to.
Push the sauce through a food mill or puree the vegetables in a blender or with an immersion blender.
Return the sauce to the heat, add the basil and oregano, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook until the herbs become fragrant, another 15 minutes. Add the butter, stir until it is melted, and serve.
Eugenia Bone is a cook and author whose stories and recipes have appeared in publications including The New York Times Magazine, Saveur and Food & Wine. She is also the author of 5 books. Visit Eugenia’s blog at TheKitchenEcosystem.com.