Light Carrot Dill Cream Sauce for Pasta ~ ElephantEats.com

First of all, let me say that Nate is officially back! Unfortunately there’s still no job, but he’s back nonetheless. While I’m happy to have him back, it was nice to have a fairly empty fridge rather than one stocked to the brim with Trader Joes. Have I mentioned the boy can eat?!

So I took it upon myself to clean out the refrigerator a bit before his arrival. During my cleaning I came across a bag of baby carrots that Nate had bought and never opened. Nate had given me a list of food to get for him before he got home and baby carrots was on it. He claimed the ones in the fridge, though unopened, were no longer edible.

Light Carrot Dill Cream Sauce for Pasta ~ ElephantEats.com

I wasn’t about to waste those carrots! Have you noticed that I’m big on not wasting? :) So when I was deciding on some sort of sauce to make for my homemade farfalle, I knew I wanted to include carrots. Plus, carrots scream Spring to me, and now that daylight savings has come and gone, I know the new season is right around the corner.

Farfalle is good with a cream sauce, so I decided I’d use the carrots pureed in a cream sauce, and then the addition of dill was a no-brainer for a fresh, light taste perfect for Spring!

This sauce is actually very low in calories for a cream sauce. I used carrots to bulk it up and thicken it, and it contains only low-fat milk, not cream. You’d never know from the taste though, the onions, garlic and lemon give it so much flavor!

Light Carrot Dill Cream Sauce for Pasta ~ ElephantEats.com

This recipe made about 3.5 cups of sauce. I found that 3/4 cup of sauce was plenty for the 6 oz of pasta that my farfalle recipe made.

6 oz is three proper servings….but in our household, 6 oz of pasta serves one Nate. So rather than making more pasta, I ate some of the sauce over spaghetti squash and it was delicious for what it was (I.e not pasta).

How beautiful is the color of this sauce? I just think it’s so perfect for Spring :)

Since this recipe made so much, I’m thinking I might use the rest of it in a lasagna. Maybe I’ll layer some zucchini and mozzarella in there? Yum!

Light Carrot Dill Cream Sauce for Pasta ~ ElephantEats.com

Light Carrot Dill Cream SauceĀ 

Print this recipe!

Yields 3.5 cupsĀ 

2 cups baby carrots (about 11 oz)
1 Tbsp butter
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp flour
1 3/4 cup 1% milk, divided
3 oz. light cream cheese
1/2 cup fresh dill, chopped
juice of 3/4 lemon
salt (start with 1/2 tsp) and pepper

Bring a pot of water to boil. Add carrots and cook 15 minutes or until soft when pierced. Remove carrots to bowl of food processor but leave water on a low boil so you can cook the pasta later.

Melt butter in the bottom of a medium saucepan. Saute onions until soft. Add garlic and cook another minute.

Whisk in 1/2 cup milk and the flour until smooth. Whisk in 1 cup more milk and bring to a boil, whisking often. When it comes to a boil, reduce to simmer and cook until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Add cream cheese to milk mixture and whisk til melted. Remove from heat and stir in dill. Set aside.

Add pasta to boiling water.

While pasta is cooking, puree carrots and 1/4 cup milk in a food processor until smooth. Add to milk mixture along with lemon juice, salt and pepper.

When pasta is done, drain and add sauce. (I found that 3/4 cup sauce covers 6 oz of pasta perfectly. So that means a pound of pasta should use about 2 cups sauce). However I recommend making a full recipe…the sauce is just so good!

28 Comments

  1. Hi Amy – this looks sooo good! I really want to just pick up that fork and dig in! I’d eat pasta everyday/several times a day if I could, and this sauce sounds and looks so delicious (btw, I hate to waste too).

    I also make “faux” cream sauce using 1% milk and either cornstarch or flour. A little cheese at the end really thickens it up nicely. Your homemade farfalle is really impressive. I took a cooking class at I.C.E. a couple years ago and one of the (long list) of things we made was pasta…I don’t think I have it in me to do it again but so tasty! Happy Friday! : )

    • Thanks, Monica! I have to say, it was REALLY good…like I kept “mmmm”ing the whole time. And it was such a great way to use up the carrots :) I actually had heavy cream in my fridge leftover from something and that was the original impetus to make a cream sauce, but then I decided I wanted it lighter like the kind you make. Pasta isn’t bad if you have a pasta maker! I remembered it being way more tedious than it was.

  2. CARROT sauce? You’re a genius! I never in a million years would think to make that. It’s like your a recipe rainman. And healthful too! (And it gives me something to do with the 2 lbs of carrots I have in my fridge) lol

    • haha, wow, a genius?! I’ll take that as quite a compliment! (prob the best one I’ll ever get). Please try it and tell me how you like it! The dill totally makes the sauce :)

  3. This is so freaking creative! And it’s a gorgeous color, too. Wow. Way to do an interesting recipe, Amy! I’ve never seen anything like this.

    • My goodness, this recipe is a bigger hit than I thought it would be! Thank you so much for the compliment, Katherine :) I personally thought it was pretty darn clever ;)….and the color was very pretty and just so perfect for a spring meal. I hope you’ll try it!

  4. You are so smart. I love how you didn’t waste those carrots, and they are reinvented in such an ingenuous way!

  5. I love that you made a carrot cream! So far I’ve made sweet potato cream sauces and butternut squash…so it’s so fun that now I can add this orange veggie to my repertoire as well!

    • Thanks, Joanne :) Oooh, I’ve never heard of using veggies in cream sauces…such a good idea. I bet sweet potato and butternut squash work really well since they’re kind of smooth and creamy to begin with.

  6. You must be thrilled to have Nate home :) And what a fantastic sauce for your homemade pasta!!!!

  7. Oooh I love that you made a sauce out of carrots. That’s brilliant!

  8. My hips are going to thank you for this lighter cream sauce.

  9. I am beyond ready for spring! This pasta sounds incredible! :)

  10. Um, a pound is 16 oz, so I assume that 1.5 c would be appropriate for about 12 oz of pasta? Thanks.

    • Hey Michelle. Thanks, I must have been too busy eating to do my math correctly ;) I updated the recipe, although it’s all really an estimate since everyone likes different amount of sauce on their pasta. I hope you try it!

  11. This recipe is awesome, I am so giving this a go – carrot sauce! thanks for sharing this you have inspired me.

  12. What a fabulous idea, using carrots! Thanks for the recipe!!
    Come check me out at http://andgeesaid.blogspot.com.au/ (:
    xxx

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  14. Can I use regular carrots instead of baby carrots? Might be a dumb question… Thanks!!!

    • There are no dumb questions!! :)
      Yes, you can totally use regular carrots, just make sure you peel them…and cut them into smallish chunks so they cook evenly and quickly. Maybe cut in half lengthwise and then into 2 inch pieces. Hope you enjoy this recipe! Let me know how it turns out :)

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