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Friday, July 27, 2007

Fettuccine with Celeriac, Artichokes, and Sun dried tomatoes

The two following recipes are the wrap up of the Skinny Gourmet in Seattle trip. I am newly enamored with celeriac, or celery root. So when I set out to prepare dinner for my two hosts in Seattle, I was determined to incorporate it into the dish. Not only does it add a delicious but novel taste, but it adds quite a bit of healthy bulk to a pasta dish.

Celeriac is traditionally paired with artichokes in some French cooking, so they seemed a natural inclusion in this dish. Finally I decided to add some Sun dried tomatoes and goat cheese for color and flavor. When my friends tried the pasta they kept saying "What are these delicious little cubes? I have never had them before." Celery root has two new converts. And if you are looking to cook well on a budget you might be interested to know that this entire elegant meal for four, including the rhubarb tarts for desert, cost only $27.


8oz spinach or carrot fettuccine (reserve ¼ c cooking liquid)
8oz artichoke hearts
1 small pepper
3 cloves garlic
2 tsp olive oil
4 dry-packed sundried tomatoes
1 small celery root, peeled, diced 1 cm
3 crimini mushrooms, sliced
leaves from 2-4 stalks of fresh thyme
salt and pepper
juice from ½ lemon
1/3 cup dry vermouth (or more)
2.6 oz of chevre, divided into 2/3 oz portions (or more to taste)

Start a pot of well salted water to boil. When it boils, add the fettuccine. You want to time the fettuccine to be done right as you are done cooking the celery root.


  • Remove the stem and seeds from the pepper. Cut into strips no more than ¼” wide. Remove skin from garlic cloves. Thaw artichoke hearts and cut into quarters, if they are not already.
  • Lightly spray a cookie sheet with olive oil from a pump spray bottle. Put pepper strips on sheet skin side up. Spread out artichokes so they do not overlap. Add garlic cloves. Spray the top with oil briefly again.
  • Broil on high until the skin of the pepper is blackened and blistered in places, the garlic is soft, fragrant and browned, and the artichokes are dark brown in places but not dried out. This will vary considerably depending on the output of your oven, so you will need to monitor them closely. When I broiled mine, the peppers and garlic were done is 7-10 minutes, but the artichokes took 20-25 minutes.

  • Cut sundried tomatoes into pieces approximately ½”-1” long and no more than ¼” wide.
  • Gently saute over medium low heat until somewhat fragrant (approximately 5 minutes).
  • Add the diced celery root and increase the heat to medium-high. Allow the celery root to turn golden brown on one side, then agitate the pan to prevent sticking.
  • Reduce the heat to medium-low. Allow approximately 5 minutes for the pan temperature to adjust (more if your pan holds heat well) and add the sliced mushrooms and the ¼ C reserved pasta cooking liquid. The liquid may steam somewhat when added, but should not rapidly evaporate.
  • Add the dry vermouth, thyme, salt and pepper. Cook approximately 7-10 minutes over moderate heat, until mushrooms are cooked but not over done.

To serve: Just before serving add the lemon juice. Check the liquid level and add more vermouth to provide adequate liquid.

Some people prefer to toss the pasta with the sauce and then serve. I prefer to plate the pasta separately and then add the sauce and vegetables because it allows me to better control the distribution of taste elements to different plates. When tossed in with pasta before plating too often one plate receives all of the sundried tomatoes while another has none. I also find the presentation of the colorful vegetables on top of the pasta more pleasing. The one disappointment with this dish was that the colors tended to blend too much, with only the white cheese to really stand out. When I do it again, I intend to try to use carrot fettuccine.

I served the chevre as medallions in the photo above, but if I had it to do again, I would dice and scatter it. Dice the portions of chevre and scatter on top of the warm pasta and vegetables so they melt slightly. The creaminess of the chevre really makes this dish come together. I find that the 2/3 oz portion of cheese is the minimum amount to be satisfying. If you are dieting, this is the recommended portion. You may consider adding 1 oz of cheese for those less concerned with the dietary content of the dish.

Garnish with a sprig of thyme and a thin lemon slice. Serve with a crisp white wine, such as a Sauvignon Blanc or a Viognier.

4 servings. Because nutritional content of pasta varies widely, nutritional information is for the recipe MINUS THE PASTA. Per serving: 130 calories, 6.3 g fat, 3.4 g fiber, 165 mg sodium

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