Salsify Your Pasta
It was an “aha” moment for chef Jamie Simpson of the Culinary Vegetable Institute in Milan, Ohio, when he came up with this gluten-free alternative to pasta using a little-known fall root vegetable. Simpson suggests serving the dish with duck, pheasant or just before an amazing steak. Pair it with a pinot grigio from the Alto Adige region of Italy for your own “aha” moment.
6 large pieces of salsify (available in the fall at Whole Foods, farmers markets and from the Culinary Vegetable Institute)
Butter or olive oil (enough for a quick sauté)
2 cups heavy cream
4 ounces prosciutto shaved and cut into strips (bacon works as well)
8 ounces blanched sweet peas, optional
4 egg yolks
Black pepper (preferably from a grinder)
2 ounces Parmesan cheese, shaved (with your peeler) or grated
With a vegetable peeler, peel the salsify on one side all the way down as far as you can go, placing the ribbons in a bit of ice water as they come. This helps prevent oxidation. Quickly sauté the ribbons in a large pan with a little butter or olive oil. When the salsify starts to wilt, add the cream, prosciutto and peas. Bring to a simmer, reduce cream by about one-third and remove from heat. Stirring constantly, add the egg yolks one at a time. Don’t stop stirring as this will ensure a smooth, creamy texture. Give your “pasta” one quick bit of heat before plating, stirring constantly. Do not let it simmer, or the yolks will coagulate and the sauce will break. Whether this is served family-style or individually plated, make it rain Parmesan and black pepper.