Califonia Bountiful
Main Dish

Brown butter sunchoke sauce with mushrooms, bacon and local cheese

If you've never tried sunchokes, those knobby, odd-looking root vegetables, Evan Gotanda suggests you give this recipe a try: "Sunchokes are so naturally sweet. And once you caramelize them in the brown butter, it's one of my favorite flavors."

Executive Chef Evan Gotanda
Salt House, San Francisco

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1/2 lb. butter
2 lb. sunchokes, sliced thin
2 cups cream
Salt and pepper, to taste

To finish
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 lb. bacon, medium dice
1 lb. fresh fettuccine
16 cremini mushrooms, quartered
1 1/4 cups grated local cheese (see note)
1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley


For sauce: In a large, shallow pot, melt butter over medium heat. Cook until brown and toasty, about 8 minutes. Add sunchokes and cook and stir until caramelized, about 4 minutes. Add cream and season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low and cook for 10 minutes or until cream is reduced by half. Transfer to a blender and puree until smooth. Adjust seasoning if needed. Set aside at room temperature while you prepare pasta.

To finish: In a large pot, boil water with enough salt to make it slightly salty (about 1 tsp. for every 4 cups). In a large sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add bacon and start to render the fat for 2 minutes or until bacon begins to crisp slightly. Drop pasta into boiling water and cook to al dente, 4 to 5 minutes. While pasta is cooking, add mushrooms to pan with bacon and sauté for 4 minutes or until tender. When pasta is done, add to pan with mushrooms and bacon. Give pan a couple of tosses, then add sunchoke puree and 1/4 cup of the cheese. Give it a few more tosses to ensure ingredients are mixed well. Transfer to a serving plate and garnish with remaining cheese and parsley.

Note: Gotanda uses ShredHead cheese from Bohemian Creamery, but Parmesan also works well.

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