Pasta with Garlic Scape Pesto
Garlic scape is a new item in my kitchen. Somehow it escaped the range of my rather extensive vegetable repertoire and I have never cooked with it before. My friend Jeannette brought them to my attention last year after she was invited to a garlic farm and urged by the farmer to pick as many garlic scapes as she could. She ended up making garlic scape pesto and brought over a couple of jars filled with her homemade creation. Her pesto was made with garlic scapes, walnuts, lemon juice, parmesan and olive oil, the ingredients neatly hand written on the label. We had it with pasta last year and it was delicious so this spring I looked for the scapes and found them in the market mid-spring. Not too many vendors had them.
Today I made a few jars of pesto with my market loot. I used pistachio nuts in the pesto and it added green colour and buttery flavour. To try it out I cooked up linguini that I could toss with the pesto. The result was a success so I am posting the recipe.
Garlic scapes are the long green strands that comes out of the garlic bulb and are removed in late spring to encourage the bulbs to grow. It’s like the flower stalk of a garlic plant. They are bright green with a garlicky flavour and aroma and can be used just as you would garlic in recipes, but they are milder, not as potent as garlic bulb.
If you look on the internet there are many ways to use them, from pesto, dips and soups to grilling them and use in pizza topping, to name a few. If you have some other ideas, I would love to hear from you.
10 oz pasta, spaghetti or linguini
1 tablespoon olive oil
Garlic scape pesto:
12 garlic scapes, roughly chopped
1/2 cup ground pistachios plus 2 tablespoons for garnish (see below)
1/3 cup grated parmesan
1/2 teaspoon salt
A couple of twists of freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
Juice from a wedge of lemon, optional
2 tablespoons ground pistachios for garnish
To make the pesto add all the ingredients to a food processor and process until pesto consistency is reached.
Transfer to a bowl and mix with a spatula, then taste and adjust the seasoning, adding the lemon juice if using.
Cook the pasta al dente and drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water.
Return the pasta to the pot, add the one tablespoon olive oil and toss to coat.
Add some of the pesto and toss with the pasta. You can add a little of the pasta water to loosen it up a bit. You will not use all the pesto. Keep what is left in glass jars in the fridge or freezer.
Pile the pasta into bowls, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with ground pistachios.
Serve with additional parmesan and if you like, a wedge of lemon to squeeze over.