Carrot Top Pesto with Whole Grain Penne

by Rachael Ray Show Staff 8:59 AM, December 5, 2014

Aired July 13, 2017

Serves 6

2 cups leafy carrot tops (from one bunch) stems trimmed, soaked in cold water and drained well
1/4 cup tarragon leaves, stemmed
A handful flat-leaf parsley tops
2 small cloves garlic
About 1/3 cup toasted sliced almonds and pine nuts, combined
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper
A couple of handfuls of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, about 1/2 cup, plus some to pass at table 
About 5-6 tablespoons EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 pound whole wheat or farro penne rigate  


Place carrot tops, tarragon, parsley, garlic, nuts (reserving 2 tablespoons for garnish), lemon juice, salt, pepper and cheese in a food processor. Pulse chop into finely chopped mixture then stream in EVOO until pesto begins to pull away from sides of food processor. Transfer to serving bowl. 
Bring water to a rolling boil for the pasta; salt the water and cook pasta to al dente.  Reserve about 1 cup of starchy water just before draining the pasta. 
Drain pasta. Add half the starchy water to the bowl with the pesto along with the pasta and toss. Adjust seasoning and use additional hot water to thin as necessary to coat pasta evenly. Top pasta with remaining nuts and pass cheese at table. 
You can eat this pasta hot, room temp or cold for lunch the next day.