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Spaghetti with Wild Garlic and Herbs

This is a little gem of a recipe. You can vary the herbs and the fats and the cheese, and throw in choice bits like chanterelles or periwinkles or cockles, if you have any around. Wild garlic begins to emerge at green-markets late winter, typically in March. If you don’t have any available to you, you can substitute flat-leaf parsley.–Darina Allen

LC Note

Granted, pasta may not seem much like Irish fare. Yet what Darina explains in her book and in our conversations with her is that Irish cuisine relies on those hallmarks of home cooking of thrift and foraging—whether in the woods or forest, at the green-market, or in your own refrigerator. This is a lovely last-minute recipe that she conjures quite frequently based on what happens to be in season on any given day.

Spaghetti with Wild Garlic and Herbs Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 20 M
  • 20 M
  • Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

  • 1 pound thin spaghetti
  • 8 tablespoons butter or a combination of butter and extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped mint
  • 2 tablespoons chopped wild garlic (leaves and bulbs) or flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons basil or lemon balm, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/2 to 1 cup finely grated cheese, preferably Parmigiano-Reggiano, though we often use Irish cheddar
  • Chive flowers or wild garlic (leave and bulbs) in season, for garnish (optional)

Directions

  • 1. Cook the spaghetti in salted boiling water until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain and return to the pot.
  • 2. Melt the butter in another pan over medium to medium-low heat. Add all the herbs and the crushed garlic and cook gently for no more than 2 minutes. Pour over the hot spaghetti, toss, and serve with the grated cheese. Sprinkle chive flowers and wild garlic over the top for extra excitement, if desired.

Variations

  • Add 8 ounces cooked sliced wild or cultivated mushrooms to the herbs and garlic—chanterelles are great.
  • Add some halved cherry tomatoes to the herbs and garlic and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Add 1 teaspoon red chile flakes to the herbs and garlic.
  • Add 4 to 8 ounces diced chorizo to the herbs and garlic.
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