This recipe is very easy to make for a quick weeknight meal. Contrary to expectations, this pesto has a mild garlic flavor. The blanching certainly helps temper the harshness of raw garlic cloves or scapes. According to farmer Matt Tregoning of Sol to Seed Farm (which happens to be the origin of the green garlic, garlic scapes and scallion used in this recipe), spring garlic tends to be sweeter and milder than cured garlic so no need to fear.
Garlic Scape Pesto
- 1 bunch garlic scapes (about 10-12 scapes), blanched and chopped
- 3 small green garlic cloves (blanched and left whole)
- 1 scallion (trimmed and chopped)
- ¼ cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
- 2-3 baguette croutons (or about ¼ cup toasted bread crumbs)
- sea salt to taste
- red pepper flakes (optional)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
Fill a large stockpot with about 6 cups of water and a large pinch of salt, and bring to boil over medium high heat. This is the same water you will use for blanching and for cooking pasta, so keep the water boiling. Blanch the garlic scapes and whole garlic cloves first in the boiling salted water (about a minute). Use tongs to pull the scapes and garlic cloves out of the water, place them in a colander and then run under cold water to halt cooking.
In the bowl of a food processor, add the first seven ingredients (or six if omitting the red pepper flakes) and process until a paste is formed. With the motor running again, stream in 2 tablespoons olive oil and process until fully combined. Set aside.
Add the pasta to the pot with the boiling blanch water and cook as directed for al dente pasta. Drain pasta in the colander over the sink while leaving about a tablespoon of pasta water in the pot. Add the drained pasta back to the pot and add 1tablespoon fresh olive oil and the pesto and toss to coat evenly. It may be clumpy at first but keep tossing and it will gradually give up.
Serve this pasta with a green salad. This is also delicious served with sliced ripe tomatoes and hard-boiled farm fresh egg.
Total preparation time is about 30 minutes.