Quick and Easy

Sam Sifton's Pasta with Parsnips & Bacon

February 26, 2020
6 Ratings
Photo by David Malosh
  • Prep time 5 minutes
  • Cook time 45 minutes
  • Serves 6 to 8
What You'll Need
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 shots slices thick-cut bacon, guanciale, or pancetta, cut into sticks
  • 3 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, or a combination of thyme and rosemary
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 8 medium parsnips, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 pounds dried fettuccine or any wide-ish flat pasta
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pats
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Set a large pot of salted water over high heat and allow to come to a boil.
  2. Set a large sauté pan over medium-high heat and swirl the oil into it. When the oil shimmers, add the bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is beginning to crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the bacon to a plate and pour off all but a healthy tablespoon of fat.
  3. Add 2 tablespoons of the thyme and the garlic to the pan and fry them, stirring frequently, until they are fragrant and softening, 2 to 3 minutes, then add the parsnips and lower the heat to medium. Cook the parsnips, stirring occasionally, until they are soft and caramelized, about 10 minutes, then return the bacon to the pan and stir. Turn the heat to low and stir occasionally until you’re ready to use it.
  4. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in the boiling salted water until it is just al dente, probably a minute or so less than the instructions on the packaging, then fish out a cup of the pasta water and drain the rest.
  5. Put the pasta in a large, warm serving bowl and add to it the parsnips and bacon, along with the butter and cheese, and toss to combine. Add a few splashes of the reserved pasta water to loosen everything up and give the pasta a sheen. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the remaining 1 tablespoon thyme over the top of the pasta and serve.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • panania
  • Peter

2 Reviews

panania December 19, 2021
OMG! This was awesome :)!! I halved it (there's just the 2 of us, so one set of lunches is enough), and I used tagliatelle (because I couldn't find any fettucine I liked) but wow was it good, You wouldn't think it, right? But the parsnips get sweet and a little soft and if you slice them thin enough they lay in between the pasta strands. With crispy bacon over the top, it's just heaven. Finally, something I can do with root vegetables besides roasting or mashing them. Thank you for this; this is definitely going in my list of favorites.
Peter March 15, 2020
6 shots? Otherwise this is similar to Mario's recipe. Can I mention him by name?