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Tagliatelle with Parsnips and Pancetta

Parsnips are the red-headed stepchild of winter root vegetables.

Although they resemble carrots, they are paler and have a sweeter taste, especially when cooked. Parsnips can be boiled, roasted or used in stews, soups and casseroles. In some cases, the parsnip is boiled and the solid portions are removed from the soup or stew, leaving behind a more subtle flavor than the whole root and contributing starch to thicken the dish. Parsnips can also be thinly sliced, fried and made into chips.

Most people tend to either like them or loathe them; the latter claim that parsnips, especially when roasted, have a very pronounced flavor such that a foil or contrast is often needed.


Mario Batali (who you may know from his stint at The Food Network) regularly features parsnips during his winter menus at restaurants such as Babbo and Lupa.

Here, this humble winter root vegetable appears in a butter-based sauce with crispy pancetta, fragrant parsley and Parmigiano-Regianno cheese, and served over fresh tagliatelle.

Tagliatelle with parsnips and pancetta
Tagliatelle with parsnips and pancetta; recipe by Mario Batali.

Time: About 30 minutes, including prep.

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