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.

Ingredients:

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

Instructions:

PREPARATION
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.