If I put the main ingredients in the post title, you might have quickly passed this one by. But that would be a shame, because this is a tasty version of fettuccine, well-suited for fall. Now that you’re reading this far, I can encourage you to stick with it and give it try! In fact, I just recently made this again in the fall of 2015, and was reminded of how good this Festive Fall Fettuccine tastes.
OK, you’re still with me? Leftover turnip puree served as the inspiration for this dish. Now, it’s not too often I find myself inspired by turnips. But I was tried out Barbara Lynch’s recipe in Stir: Mixing It Up In The Italian Tradition for Pork Chop with Caramelized Apples, Celery and Spiced Walnuts, which she recommended serving over turnip puree. It was a tasty dish, but generated a lot of extra turnip puree. Noting its thick creaminess, I figured that it would make a good basis for a pasta sauce. But it would need some salt and sweetness to offset the slight bitterness of the turnip. Bacon, which I like to cook with greens, and cranberries seemed to be in order…
I made this dish a few weeks ago, and am just now getting to finish up the post on the day after Thanksgiving. Which leads me to suggest that this would a nice way to use leftover turnips. If you have cooked, mashed turnip already on hand from Thanksgiving or some other occasion, you could heat that turnip gradually with the cream, stirring to gradually combine.
I’d also imagine adding a few cups of bite sized pieces of turkey meat to the dish would be tasty, and a nice change of pace from turkey sandwiches! Though this Festive Fall Fettuccine recipe can be a good use of leftovers, it’s totally worth going out and getting some turnips to make this dish specifically.
This is one of those recipes where you can freely swap ingredients around. The flavor foundations are the turnip cream, bacon and cranberry. Use what greens you like or have on hand–I’ve gotten good results with collard greens and Tuscan kale (also known as “dino kale”). Fresh herbs are nice, but dried herbs can work fine if that’s what you have. We are now 100% nut free in our home due to an allergy, so I skipped the walnuts when making this recently and didn’t miss them. I think you get the picture–this is a flexible recipe you can enjoy with a lot of different variations! Let me know how you put it together and like it.
Wine Pairing: I didn’t have a wine pairing with the original post of this recipe, but during my 2015 remake of it, I paired the Festive Fall Fettuccine with a 2015 Badenhorst Secateurs Chenin Blanc ($15, 13% ABV). This wine from South Africa has nice lemon fruit, a touch of honey and good minerality. There’s a lot going on in the fettuccine dish, with some bitterness from the turnip, sweetness from the cranberry, and salty bacon. The Chenin Blanc matched up pretty well. I’m thinking a sparkling wine might be another good option here.Print
Festive Fall Fettuccine
Festive Fall Fettuccine combines an interesting turnip cream and healthy greens and gets topped with cranberries and bacon for a flavorful fall meal.
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 45 mins
- Total Time: 55 mins
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Category: Main
- Cuisine: Fusion
- 1 cup coconut cream (you could use heavy cream instead)
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 lb turnips, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 bunch collard greens or kale, coarsely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ cup or chicken broth
- 1 or 2 slices bacon
- pinch salt and red pepper flakes
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- bit of fresh oregano or other fresh herb, if available
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 12 ozs fettuccine noodles
- ¼ cup walnuts, lightly toasted & coarsely chopped (or substitute pumpkin seeds for nut free)
- handful of dried cranberries
- ¼ cup or so feta cheese (or pecorino would work)
- Make the turnip cream: Heat the cream and butter in a pan over medium heat. When the butter is melted, add the turnip and a pinch of salt. Reduce to simmer, partially covered, for 30 to 45 minutes, until the turnip is tender when pierced with a fork.
- Puree the turnip and cream combination in a food processor until you get a nice, even consistency. Return to the pan and keep warm on very low heat as you make the rest of the dish.
- As the turnip cream simmers, heat a large skillet on medium high and spray with cooking oil. Add the bacon and cook until it is nice and crispy.
- Remove the bacon from the pan and cool it on paper towel set on a plate to absorb the excess grease. Pour most of the extra grease out of the pan, but leave a bit for that bacon flavor. When the bacon is cool, crumble it into bite sized pieces and set it aside to add to the dish later.
- Add a tablespoon of the olive oil to the pan, heat on medium. Add the garlic, cook for a minute or so until it starts getting fragrant. Gradually add the greens in a few batches, stirring the greens as you add them so they get well coated with the oil and garlic.
- Add a light pinch of salt, then stir in the chicken broth and balsamic vinegar. Heat the liquid until it begins to simmer, then cover to cook gently on moderate heat. Stir the greens occasionally. Braise the greens for at least 20 minutes. Add the oregano, basil and red pepper flakes about halfway through the greens cooking time.
- Start boiling the water for pasta after you’ve started cooking the greens. Cook the pasta according to package instructions. Drain the pasta when it’s done, then toss the pasta with the turnip puree.
- Once the turnip has coated the noodles, toss in the the greens. Be sure to use up all the good liquid from cooking the greens to capture all the nutrients and flavor.
- After mixing the greens and pasta, stir in the cheese. Plate the pasta, and top each dish with a bit of the bacon, cranberries and walnuts or pumpkin seeds. Serve at the table with a bit of extra cheese, and enjoy!