This is the lighter, healthier version. I promise you that you would never guess that this creamy, deliciousness has so little fat and dairy in it. I wish I had a million recipes like this one. Sigh.
3/4 lb carrots, peeled and sliced thin
1/2 Cup orange juice
4 oz sharp cheddar, grated
3 Cups (~9oz) rigatoni or other large pasta
1 T fresh tarragon (chopped) or 1.5 teaspoons dry tarragon
- Put carrots and orange juice in a pot with a lid. Add as much water as necessary to cover the carrots. Season with a sprinkling of salt, cover and simmer until carrots are very tender (~30 min). If the carrots start to dry out before tender, just add a bit of water.
- Puree carrots and liquid until smooth. Note that steps 1 & 2 can be done 1-2 days ahead
- Bring a large pot of water to boil. Season liberally with salt and add pasta. Cook until al dente. Using a pyrex measuring cup or similar, remove 1 Cup pasta water before draining.
- Drain pasta. Combine carrot puree and half of water in empty pot. Over very low heat, stir until completely combined and add cheese and tarragon. Stir until combined into creamy cheese sauce.
- Add pasta, stir to combine. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.