CELERY ROOT PURÉE

2 pounds celery root/celeriac (large heads are best)

1 pound potatoes

cup crème fraiche

Salt to taste

Freshly ground pepper to taste

Peel the celeriac and the potatoes and quarter them. In a large pot of salted water, bring to a boil and cook until soft.

Process through a ricer or use a food processor. Whisk the crème fraiche into the purée and season with salt and pepper. If not serving immediately, cover with a butter wrapper to prevent the formation of a skin. Serves 4.

Source: Olivier De Saint Martin/Zinc.

PARSNIPS MEUNIÈRE

2 pounds parsnips

1 stick butter

1 lemon, juiced

1 bunch Italian parsley, chopped

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Peel the parsnips, rinse and slice into small pieces. In a medium pot of salted, boiling water, blanch the parsnips until al dente, about 3 minutes. Drain and set aside.

In the same pan, heat the butter until golden brown. Add the parsnips. Season with salt and pepper. Cook them until you obtain a nice coloration, then add the lemon juice and parsley. Toss and serve. Serves 4.

Source: Olivier De Saint Martin/Zinc.

CAVATELLI ALLA NORMA

1 pound impastata (dry ricotta cheese)

7 ounces whole-wheat flour

1 egg

2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper

SAUCE

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 red onion, sliced thin

1 Chinese eggplant, cut into thick julienne

1 clove garlic, finely minced

1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper flakes

1/2 cup tomatoes, diced

2 cups homemade tomato sauce

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

2 tablespoons basil, cut into fine ribbons

1 tablespoon butter

Salt as needed

Grated ricotta salata (firm sheep's milk ricotta) as needed

Make a well into the center of the ricotta cheese; add the egg and oil into the center. Blend until smooth. Add the flour and salt and pepper a little at a time until all of the flour is incorporated. Knead the dough for 1 minute. Let rest for 30 minutes.

Cut dough into 8 lengthwise pieces. Lightly flour each piece and roll into quarter-inch ropes. Cut the ropes into quarter-inch pieces. With a serrated edge of a butter knife, pull each piece toward you, forming an indentation in the center of each cavatelli. Cook the pasta now in boiling, salted water or store uncovered in the refrigerator for up to 8 hours before cooking.

For the sauce: Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and eggplant and cook until tender. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute. Add the diced tomato and sauce. Cook together for 2 minutes. Finish with the herbs and butter, and season to taste. Toss with cavatelli that has been boiled in salted water. Allow the sauce and pasta to cook together for 1 to 2 minutes. Serve with grated ricotta salata on top. Serves 4-6.

Source: Chef Roberta Adamo, Penne.