Today on Good Food, Evan talks to Willi Galloway about “bonus edibles.” In her book Grow Cook Eat, Willi talks about how gardening is great for extra goodies like edible flowers or garlic scapes which she uses in a pesto. She also uses fresh English peas which she recommends cooking very lightly. She says, “The secret to perfectly cooked peas is not to cook them at all. In this recipe the heat of the pasta and its cooking water softens the peas up just slightly, bringing out their sweet flavor, which complements the rich, garlicky pesto.” If you don’t have garlic scapes in the garden, you might be able to sang them from your local farmers market.
Keep reading for the recipe…
Bucatini with Fresh English Peas and Garlic Scape Pesto
(From Grow Cook Eat by Willi Galloway, Sasquatch Books, 2012)
8 ounces bucatini or spaghetti
Eight 10-inch-long garlic scapes
1/2 cup finely grated parmesan (about 1 ounce), plus more for serving
1/2 cup shelled walnuts
Zest and juice of 1/2 large lemon
1/3 to 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups freshly shelled English peas (about 2 pounds of peas in their shells)
Freshly ground pepper
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the bucatini and cook according to package instructions until al dente. Do not drain.
Meanwhile, place the garlic scapes in a food processor and chop into small pieces. Add the Parmesan, walnuts, and lemon zest and juice; process into a rough paste. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. With the blade running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Process until the oil is thoroughly incorporated and the pesto is fairly smooth, about 30 seconds. Season to taste with salt.
Place the peas in a colander. When the bucatini is ready, reserve 1⁄4 cup cooking water. Slowly drain the pasta into the colander and let it sit atop the peas like a cap for 1 minute.
To serve, place the bucatini, peas, and about 1/2 cup pesto in a large bowl. Add a few tablespoons reserved cooking water (this helps distribute the pesto evenly) and toss to combine. Serve immediately. Pass extra cheese and pepper at the table.