Dishing Up the Dirt

Spring Parsnip & Caramelized Onion Pasta

I have a bone to pick with our local weatherman.

Instead of partly cloudy skies with a small chance of rain the weather took a turn for the worst.

Rain was pouring sideways, the wind was so powerful it blew off the row cover protecting our newly transplanted greens, and the number of times I fell on my ass in knee deep mud cannot be counted on one hand.

Times like this call for a glass of red wine on the tractor followed by comfort food for dinner.

Pasta is our comfort food and I’m pretty sure many of you can relate. After a long day when it feels like there is nothing left to give a plate of hot pasta can be your savior. It’s easy, delicious and can be whipped up in a pinch.

I am still cooking my way through the 20 pounds of parsnips my amazing father-in-law sent us from our old farm. Spring parsnips are even tastier than fall parsnips in my opinion. If you can get your hands on some good looking parsnips I highly recommend making this pasta. It is so stinking good we ate the whole four servings between just the two of us. Enjoy!

Spring Parsnip and Caramelized Onion Pasta

Prep Time: 15 minutes    Cook Time: 45 minutes    Serves: 4

  • 8 ounces uncooked penne pasta
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (or veggie broth/water)
  • 2 very large parsnips, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (about 3 cups worth)
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 5 cups fresh spinach
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 + Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Parmesan cheese
  • olive oil
  • Chopped walnuts
  • additional crushed red pepper flakes


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss chopped parsnips with a little oil and place on a prepared baking sheet. Roast in the oven until tender and lightly browned on all sides. About 20 minutes. Toss parsnips halfway through cooking time.
  2. Heat a medium sized skillet over medium heat with a little oil. Add onion and cook until tender and slightly caramelized. About 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in garlic, thyme and crushed red pepper flakes. Add wine and cook until liquid evaporates (about 3 minutes.) Stir in spinach and turn heat off.
  3. Cook pasta in a pot of boiling water until fully cooked. About 8-10 minutes. Drain pasta.
  4. Combine cooked parsnips and pasta with the rest of the veggies. Season to taste with parmesan cheese, crushed red pepper flakes, olive oil, walnuts, salt and pepper.


* Use this recipe as a guide *Adjust measurements and ingredients as necessary *Taste test as you go

Leave a Reply

16 thoughts on “Spring Parsnip & Caramelized Onion Pasta

  1. Pasta and roasted veg is really comforting, especially when they’re roasted like this. Will be filling this one away as well until parsnips come back around here. Hoping the sun comes out for you soon!

    1. Andrea says:

      Thank you! The sun is out now!!!

  2. Pasta screams comfort food. Now I kind of want to drink a glass of wine and take a tractor ride πŸ™‚

    1. Andrea says:

      A glass of wine and a tractor ride are the best way to end the day!

  3. Amy says:

    Definitely time for comfort food! I hope the farm is coming back together again.
    I love parsnips, but my other half isn’t so fussed, oh well, guess I’ll have the whole dish myself πŸ™‚

    1. Andrea says:

      more for you!!

  4. Julia says:

    Oh jeez, I can see how unprpedictable weather could be a major pain in the rear for you and Taylor! Love this filling and healthful pasta, lady! 20 POUNDS of parsnips?! Glorious day!

    1. Andrea says:

      20 lbs of parsnips arrived from my amazing father-in-law. It feels like Christmas around here!

  5. SallyBR says:

    My gosh, I think I will never complain of my bad weather here…. compared to what you have to face, I should shut up and discreetly grab my umbrella with a smile on my face

    Look at that tractor!

    great pasta, I would gladly sit down with you to enjoy a nice helping of it – with wine and everything…

    1. Andrea says:

      You are welcome to come for wine and pasta anytime! We may put you to work weeding but I promise good food!

  6. Emma says:

    You definitely deserved that plate (and wine!). It looks scrumptious! I’d have never thought to pair parnsips with pasta but I love them both so I’m definitely down with the combo πŸ™‚

    1. Andrea says:

      Pasta and parsnips somehow make an amazing pair! Give this a whirl!

  7. You would never know looking at these pictures that this meal was made after such a trying day. They are perfect as always… and not a muddy fingerprint in site πŸ™‚ Pasta certainly is the best comfort food, and I love all the veggies going on here!

    1. Andrea says:

      Thanks for the lovely comment girl! Cooking is what saves me after a long hard day.

  8. Francesca says:

    Pasta is our comfort food too. Oh man, I’m impressed with your creativity and these parsnips!

  9. Jessica says:

    This recipe was delicious! I put some marinara on the leftovers, just for a little change and it was really tasty that way too.

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