If you are not familiar with sunchokes, allow me to make an introduction. They are sometimes also called Jerusalem Artichokes. They are a root vegetable that looks a bit knobby almost like ginger. Their flavor is earthy, but slightly sweet, almost as if a potato met an artichoke. Their sweetness is enhanced with cooking. They are phenomenal roasted or even fried. I even had a sunchoke ice cream once that was amazing. Sunchokes do not have to be peeled. Just give them a good scrub, then slice as desired.
This linguine has a pound of sunchokes. You’ll get plenty of that sweet earthiness in the dish. The sunchokes soften with cooking, but they’ll still have a good bite. I use Calabrian peppers for a little heat. If you don’t have those, add some chili flakes or another kind of pickled chili. Use less lemon if you use a really briny pepper as the Calabrian peppers are packed in oil and don’t provide any acidity. This gets finished with a good amount of lemon juice to balance it out, and that flavor goes really well with the sunchokes too.
This pasta is lightly sauced. The sauce is a combination of olive oil, lemon juice, parmesan, and a little butter. It requires that you finish the pasta by tossing it with the sunchokes and cooking it with some of the reserved pasta water. It creates pasta that is silky, flavorful, and definitely not dry.
Linguine with Roasted Sunchokes and Calabrian Peppers
- 1 lb sunchokes
- 2 oz olive oil plus 1 T, divided
- 5 cloves garlic, divided
- 8 oz linguine or other pasta
- 1-2 cup reserved pasta water
- 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup Calabrian peppers, thinly sliced
- 2 oz lemon juice
- 2 T butter
- 1/2 cup finely shredded parmesan, plus more for garnish
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 cup picked parsley
- Kosher salt
- black pepper
- Preheat oven to 425F. Cut the sunchokes into 1/4 inch thick, bite sized pieces. Mince or finely grate 3 of the garlic cloves. Toss the sunchokes and minced garlic with 2 oz of oil. Season with salt and pepper. Spread out on a baking sheet, and roast for around 25 minutes, or until they are lightly browned.
- While the sunchokes are roast, bring a pot of salted water to boil for your pasta. Boil the pasta until slightly undercooked. Drain, but reserve 2 cups of the pasta water.
- When the sunchokes are done, heat a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the remaining 1 T of olive oil. Thinly slice the remaining garlic cloves. Add those to the pan and sweat briefly. Then add the roasted sunchokes. Add the drained pasta, Calabrian peppers, and 1 cup of the reserved pasta water. Toss to combine. Increase the heat to medium and cook until the pasta is al dente. Add the lemon juice. Add a little more water if it seems too dry. Turn off the heat, and toss in the shredded parmesan, and the butter. If needed, add a little more pasta water. Taste, and finish with the parsley and lemon zest, and extra salt and pepper, if desired. You may not need to add any additional salt because of the pasta water. Serve and top with extra parmesan.