Noodles with a sauce of carrot tops, radish greens, and yogurt


by: Caroline B

This sauce is a bit mysterious because it’s made from those greens that we usually discard—carrot tops and radish leaves—and whose flavor eludes us. They’re lively, interesting, and tangy, especially when mixed with the yogurt. This dish is not meant to be served piping hot, because the yogurt will curdle if brought to a boil. But that makes it an especially appealing dish for hot weather. Vegans can omit the yogurt and toss the pasta with the pureed greens. These unusual flavors can be met with the crisp acidity and lively fruit found in an unoaked Sauvignon Blanc. Try one from New Zealand’s Marlborough region.


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serves: 4-6

1 bunch of spinach (about 4 cups packed loose leaves)

1-2 bunches of carrots tops (the leaves stripped off the stems)

1 bunch of radishes leaves

1 small bunch of cilantro, stems included, chopped (about 1 cup)

1 handful of dill

4 leaves lovage or celery

1 cup whole-milk yogurt or sour cream

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 jalapeno chile, seeded and chopped

1/4 white onion, thinly sliced

sea salt

3/4 pound spaghetti or linguine

1/2 cup pine nuts

crumbled feta or Manouri cheese (optional)

Nutrition Facts
Noodles with a sauce of carrot tops, radish greens, and yogurt

Servings Per Recipe: 4

Amount per Serving

Calories: 418

  • Total Fat: 7.1 g
  •     Saturated Fat: 2 g
  •     Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 8 mg
  • Sodium: 70.1 mg
  • Total Carbs: 73.8 g
  •     Dietary Fiber: 5 g
  •     Sugars: 9.2 g
  • Protein: 14.8 g

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1.  Sort through the greens and discard any funky-looking leaves. Wash and chop them coarsely. Pour the yogurt into a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth to drain. Heat a large pot of salted water for the pasta.

2.  Heat the oil in a wide nonstick skillet. Add the chile and onion and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for a few minutes or until the onion turns translucent. Next add the greens with the water clinging to their leaves. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and cook until wilted, turning them with a pair of tongs after 3 or 4 minutes. Puree with the drained yogurt, then transfer the mixture to a large skillet. Turn the heat on low to warm the yogurt. Don’t get it too hot or it will curdle.

3.  Cock the pasta in the salted water until al dente, then drain. While it's cooking, toast the pine nuts in a small skillet until golden. Add the pasta to the sauce, toss well, and salt to taste. Scatter the cheese and pine nuts over the top.

Cooks' note:
Variation: In place of the feta and pine nuts, halve a pint of cherry tomatoes, toss them with minced chile, cilantro, and a little lime juice, and set them aside to come to room temperature while you make the dish. Spoon them over the pasta just before serving.

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