Spring is in full swing and depending on where you live, carrots are back in our market booths. At Organic Seed Alliance’s research farm in Washington, our greenhouse is brimming with carrot roots that we selected with Dr. Phil Simon at his winter nursery in El Centro, California, this past winter. We selected a vast rainbow of colored carrot roots as part of our work on the Carrot Improvement for Organic Agriculture (CIOA) project, where we’re breeding new carrot varieties for organic farmers with traits like delicious flavor, crisp and juicy texture, disease and nematode resistance, and tall tops for week competition.
Needless to say, we’ve got carrots on the mind and on the menu so we’re sharing this delicious recipe developed by Chef Karl Holl from Let Um Eat for last autumn’s Variety Showcase in Portland, Oregon. Enjoy and be sure to mark your calendar for October 2, 2017, to join us at this year’s Variety Showcase, an annual interactive mixer hosted by the Culinary Breeding Network to build community and increase collaboration between breeders, farmers, and eaters.
Roasted Carrot Bolognese
Yields 2 quarts
1 cup pancetta, diced small (Chef Karl likes Red Table Pancetta)
2 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped
1 yellow onion, diced small
1 carrot, diced small
1 stalk celery, diced small
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs oregano, chopped
6 sprigs thyme, chopped
1/4 bottle red wine (Chef Karl likes Soter Vineyard Pinot Noir but use any red wine you like)
1/4 cup olive oil (Chef Karl likes Oregon Olive Mill Arbequina but use any olive oil you like)
3 cups fresh carrot juice
3 cups tomato puree, fresh or canned
5 lbs carrots, roasted and put through a food processor or ground through a meat grinder
To start the bolognese, combine the carrot juice, tomato puree, olive oil, and a pinch of salt in a pot. Cook to reduce the volume by about half.
In a separate, larger pot, begin rendering the pancetta on low heat. Sweat until translucent, then add garlic and cook until a lightly toasted garlic aroma fills the room. Next add the mirepoix (onion, carrot, celery) along with the herbs and bay leaf. Cook until vegetable are tender, then add the red wine and simmer until reduced by half.
After the wine is reduced, add the carrot and tomato reduction and cook the mixtures together for about 30 minutes on med-low heat.
Add the ground roasted carrots and let it come to a simmer.
Serve and enjoy!