Carrot Pesto Sauce Pasta

Penne Pasta coated in creamy, nutty, garlicky Pesto made with carrots, pine nuts and parmesan.

When summer gives you load of carrots.. make Carrot Pesto!

Imagine, eating creamy pasta for dinner.. even when no marinara, alfredo, or basil pesto sauce in hand but just a handful of fresh carrots!!  Yes, you read it right. Carrots, no carrot greens! 

Sharing today, a 6 ingredient Carrot Sauce Pasta made with fresh carrot's pesto. Nutty parmesan, pine nuts, sweet carrots, garlic, lemon, and olive oil... Such a simple combination of flavors combine to make a silky, rich and creamy Pasta Sauce without creams and thickeners!. Kids or adults, this pasta is favorite of everyone alike.

So, let's take out that extra stash of carrots from refrigerator and make some Carrot Pesto pasta for dinner tonight! Starting from fresh carrots to pasta dinner.. this recipe needs only 25 minutes and yields 4 servings. 

Carrot Pasta Sauce

I'm huge fan of playing with flavors of pasta sauce. Carrot pasta sauce or I should say, Carrot Pesto, was in my to-try list since long... This is one such recipe that you will not find anywhere else. It is more of my take on seasonal carrots and pesto than traditional green pest...

Total Time: Prep Time: Cook Time:
Difficulty: Easy
Yields: 1 Cup Pesto Serves: 4
Notes: 1 Cup of Carrot Pesto is good for 1 to 1.5 pound of Pasta

Ingredients

    Pesto

  • 1 lbs Carrots (trimmed and peeled)
  • 1/2 Cup Olive Oil
  • 1/3 Cup Pine Nuts (toasted, more for serving pasta)
  • 4 Garlic (cloves)
  • 1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese (grated, 1/3 cup and rest divided, more shaved for serving)
  • 2 tbsp Lemon (juice, add more if prefer, I end using upto 2 tbsp more)
  • Salt and Black Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Chili Flakes (optional or add more if you like)
  • Pasta

  • 1 lbs Pasta (penne or farfalle)
  • 1 Cup Green Peas (*frozen)
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • Basil (fresh leaves, for serving)

Directions

  • 1. Bring pot of water to rolling boil. Clean and peel carrots and trim ends. Boil for 5 minutes or until just tender. Remove and set aside. Cook pasta according to package directions. While pasta is almost done cooking (about a minute remaining), add in frozen pea. Once pasta is done, drain and add to a large pasta bowl. Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water.
  • 2. In blender or food processor, add chopped carrots, toasted pine nuts, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, chili flakes, and 1/3 parmesan cheese.
    Additional Notes:
    It is important to rough chop carrots before adding to blender. This will make smooth pesto, faster.
  • 3. Process to make smooth puree. Add salt and cracked black pepper as per taste. (I used about 1/2 tsp salt and 1/3 tsp pepper.)
  • 4. Add **carrot pesto to warm bowl of pasta with 1 tbsp olive oil, 3-4 tbsp of pasta water, and remaining parmesan cheese. Toss to coat pasta in the sauce.
    Additional Notes:
    If serving later, add remaining pasta water while reheating the pasta for serving.
  • 5. Transfer to serving bowls, garnish with fresh basil, toasted pine nuts, and carrots shots. Serve and enjoy!

Savita's Notes:

*It is important to rough chop carrots before adding to blender. If you have a super powerful blender than add the whole carrots. I had to chop'em to make smooth pesto.

**In my home, we love garlic. The heat of carrots, and hot pasta water cooks it enough for us to eat. If you don't like raw garlic taste. I recommend sauteing the pesto in pan for 30 seconds before mixing into the pasta.

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