The simplest wild garlic pasta recipe. And the best, probably, as well. A quick pesto stirred into freshly cooked pasta and you could not be happier!
Taste the spring in this quick wild garlic pasta dish. Just a few ingredients and you will have an amazing bowl of pasta in front of you in about 15 minutes.
I am trying to make the most of the short wild garlic season, you might have noticed that. All the recipes I’ve posted lately deal with this wonderful plant. And I am planning to post quite a few more this week. So, if you love ramson or bear’s garlic just as much as I do and have access to a wood full of it, go foraging and then have a look here again.
You should definitely try this flavorful sauce, which is perfect for steaks or any other piece of meat (or eggs), the compound butter, which is the best herb butter ever, or these vibrant crepes, which your kids will love. Not to forget this simple spread or the potato soup which is always a delight.
To learn more about foraging and cooking with it, have a look at What to Do with Wild Garlic.
- I had spaghetti but you can use anything you like.
- You can make the sauce for this dish from scratch, or you can use pesto you might have made before.
- I make two kinds of wild garlic pesto every year. The one with sunflower seeds, a recipe I’ve posted years ago, and this one with almonds. They are both equally delicious!
- Raw almonds with their skin still on.
- If all you have are blanched ones, they are fine as well, but I always use those with the skin. (Not the shell, just the brown, thin skin/peel).
- Always Parmesan from a wedge, not already grated.
- Pecorino can be substituted instead, it has a slightly different flavor, but so good!
- I use mild olive oil for this recipe, nothing too bitter or too strong.
- A mild sunflower seed oil is fine as well.
- Or you can use wild garlic oil if you have it.
Other ingredients: fine sea salt and freshly squeezed lemon juice.
Can I use another kind of pesto?
Definitely. You will not be eating wild garlic pesto pasta then, but any kind of pesto you have is fine.
How to cook pasta with wild garlic pesto?
- Start cooking the water for the pasta. When the water is boiling, add salt generously and cook the spaghetti (or whatever you have) according to the packet’s instructions. Drain but save about 1 cup of the cooking water.
- While the water cooks, make the sauce.
- Place the roughly chopped leaves in a food processor. Process shortly and scrape the walls of the machine with a spatula. (1)
- Depending on your food processor, you might have to roughly chop the almonds. I use the Thermomix, he can easily deal with the whole almonds.
- Add almonds, cubed cheese, oil, salt, and a few drops of lemon juice.
- Pulse until you have a nice consistency, it will not be completely smooth. Scrape down the sides and pulse again if necessary. (2)
- Adjust the taste with salt and maybe a few more drops of lemon juice.
- Mix with the cooked pasta. Add some of the reserved cooking water to loosen the consistency. Don’t add it all, start with a little and add more gradually until it looks right to you. (3,4)
Can I make a larger batch?
Yes. Make my regular batch, which yields 4-5 small jars. Freeze for up to 1 year. It will be safe to eat for longer than that, but it might lose some of its flavor when kept for too long.
- 300 g/ 10.6 oz wild garlic, stalks removed
- 100 g/ 3.5 oz/ about ¾ cup almonds
- 100 g/ 3.5 oz/ 1 cup Parmesan
- 200 ml/ 6.7 fl. oz/ scant 1 cup mild olive oil
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt, add more if necessary
- 1-2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, to taste
How to store and reheat?
The pesto keeps well in the fridge for several weeks. If you’ve already mixed it with the pasta, keep refrigerated, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stove top. Add a splash of milk, oil (or water) to the pot when reheating and stir often.
Can I freeze this?
Just the pesto, not the pasta.
What else can I do with the pesto?
Wild Garlic Pasta
- 400 g/ 14 oz spaghetti or other pasta
- 100 g/ 3.5 oz wild garlic stalks removed
- 40 g/ 1.3 oz/ ¼ cup whole raw almonds with skin on
- 40 g/ 1.3 oz/ scant ½ cup Parmesan
- 75 ml/ 2.5 fl. oz/ 1/3 cup mild olive oil
- 1/3 teaspoon fine sea salt add more to taste
- a few drops of lemon juice to taste
- Start cooking the water for the pasta. Once it’s boiling, add salt generously. Cook pasta according to the packet’s instructions. Drain well and reserve about 1 cup of the cooking water.
- In the meantime, make the pesto.
- Wash and dry the wild garlic very thoroughly. Chop the leaves and place them in the food processor. Process to a rough paste, scrape down the walls with a spatula.
- Depending on the food processor, you might need to roughly chop the almonds.
- Add almonds, cubed cheese, oil, salt, and lemon juice and pulse until the desired consistency is achieved. You will need to scrape the walls of the food processor a couple of times in between.
- Adjust the taste with more salt and a few drops of lemon juice.
- Mix with the cooked pasta. Add some of the reserved cooking water to loosen the consistency. Don’t add all the water, start with a little and add more gradually until it looks right to you.
- Serve sprinkled with more Parmesan.