Pasta with Parsnips and Bacon

Thanks to Ben Adams for this recipe!

This is a recipe from the NY Times and is hands down my favorite pasta dish. It’s definitely my “go-to” dish for having guests over during the fall and winter months. The sweetness of roasted parsnips with the smokiness of the bacon and “kick” of the leeks makes a great combination. Save this dish for a night when you want to treat yourself or celebrate something- say, the end of the fall semester.


medium parsnips (3/4 pound), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 ½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, more for drizzling
Kosher salt and black pepper, as needed
½ pound dried campanelle or farfalle pasta
¼ pound bacon, diced
1 medium leek, thinly sliced
¾ cup heavy cream
⅔ cup grated Parmesan cheese (real parm; not the green can)
2 tablespoons chopped parsley


Heat oven to 400 degrees. Toss parsnips with oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast, tossing occasionally, until parsnips are golden and tender, about 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package instructions until 1 minute before it’s al dente. Drain.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown the bacon until crisp, about 5 minutes; use a slotted spoon to transfer bacon to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain. Discard all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the pan.
Return skillet to heat and add leeks. Cook in remaining bacon fat until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in heavy cream and cooked bacon. Simmer mixture until slightly thickened, 2 to 3 minutes.
Stir in pasta, parsnips and cheese. Simmer until heated through and cheese is melted, then remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper; toss with parsley. Serve drizzled with olive oil, with plenty of black pepper on top.