It is wild garlic season here in the UK, and there is a lot of tastiness out there for the picking! I suggest you steel yourselves for possibly an overshare on wild garlic recipes, but foraging season is upon us, and I am pretty excited to get back outdoors and make fresh new recipes.
I love this recipe because it brings in my Italian roots. My mother in law taught me how to make fresh pasta, and pesto is well known around the world – so I decided to go for this little twist using wild garlic. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
For the pesto:
2-3 handfuls wild garlic leaves
one handful pine nuts
two handfuls walnuts
50g grated parmesan or pecorino cheese
extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper to taste
For the pasta:
2 cups plain flour
one handful wild garlic leaves
2 pinches fine salt
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
How to make your yummy recipe:
First you will want to start making the pasta, as this is the most time consuming part. In a large bowl combine the flour, salt and olive oil. Mix in the oil until it is well distributed, then add the egg. Mix it in until the dough starts to stick together. Slowly add water to the bowl until a soft sticky dough forms. Place on a floured surface and knead until elastic, then place back into the bowl to let rest for about 10 minutes. In the meantime, finely chop the wild garlic leaves. I use a blender because I’m lazy, but you can do it with a knife if you like.
Then lay out on a table clean tea towels sprinkled with flower, or greaseproof baking paper, whichever you have on hand.
Once the pasta has rested, take out the dough and cut it in half. Put one half back in the bown and keep covered. With the other half, knead in the chopped wild garlic. You may need to add a touch of flour and water for this. Once it is well distributed it is time to make the pasta. If you have a pasta machine, follow the instructions for making pappardelle or linguine. If you don’t have one like me, you will need a rolling pin, a knife, more flour and some patience. Cut your dough into pieces and work them one at a time, rolling out the door until quite thin. Sprinkle with flower and loosely roll up on the short side. Then with your sharp knife, cut into strips the same width, unroll each strip and place on the tea towels. Try not to let the pasta touch or it will stick. Continue until you have used up all the dough.
Put on to boil a large pot of water.
While you wait for the water to boil, make the pesto. Add all the ingredients into a blender or food processor with a big glug of olive oil. Blend until smooth and season to taste.
Add salt to the water and drop in your fresh pasta. Don’t go to far as it will cook quickly! As soon as it floats, drain your pasta, reserving some of the cooking water. Mix a couple spoons of the water with the pesto to make it more smooth then put on top of the pasta. Grate extra cheese on top and serve 🙂