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
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
- Quick Glance
- 20 M
- 20 M
- Serves 4 to 6
- 1 pound thin spaghetti
- 8 tablespoons butter or a combination of butter and extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf 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)
- 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.
- 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.
Recipe Testers Reviews
What a delightful dish this recipe makes. The combination of several herbs really elevates this recipe above a plain pasta dish. The versatility of being able to use different herbs when they are in season, as suggested in the ingredients list, firmly qualifies the dish as a Weeknight Winner. The instructions are clear and simple, so even a novice cook can pull off this unique recipe. The variations given allow the cook to make this recipe their own. I enjoyed it as a vegetarian entree, but it would also make an easy and impressive pasta side dish for all sorts of meat entrees, especially those simply prepared like grilled steaks or chicken.