This recipe makes a gorgeous, rich, garlicky pesto that goes great with some linguine. I prefer linguine to spaghetti as it holds more of the sauce... As with any recipes I put on here, please play around with the amounts, they are just guides, I never measure anything, instead i continually taste to get the flavour and texture I want. This may not be the same as you so feel free to play around.
How to forage for Wild Garlic:
- Always follow the Woodland Trust guide to sustainable foraging
- Identify Wild Garlic through its leaves and flowers. Wild Garlic enjoys dappled sunshine so its most likely to appear around woodlands.
- Pick leaves and flower stem close to the ground, do NOT pull up the bulb.
- Crush the leaves and give the a smell to ensure they smell like garlic.
- 10-15 Wild Garlic leaves
- Large bunch of Basil
- 50g Parmesan cheese
- 50g Toasted pine nuts
- Olive oil or Rape seed oil
Get your linguine on to boil while you make your pesto.
Now, if you are a traditionalist, get your pestle and mortar out and get ready for a workout, if you prefer the easy life, use your food processor... Both methods make a great flavoured pesto BUT, for some reason, the flavours are more prominent using the pestle and mortar. I think this is due to the crushing rather than cutting nature of the method, try it if you have the time!
Add the leaves of the garlic and basil, crush or whizz in the processor and take a good sniff, part o the enjoyment of this dish is the aromatics fill your senses! Add the Parmesan, Pine nuts (which you have toasted in a frying pan for a few minutes) and blend.
Slowly add your oil, while blending until a smooth pesto is formed.
Check your linguine is cooked, strain it, keeping the water to one side and return the linguine to the pan. Add your pesto and stir on the heat for around 1 minute and then turn off the heat. Continue to stir, ensuring all the pasta is covered. Add a little of the pasta water, stir again and serve. Sprinkle with some more Parmesan and garnish with some Wild Garlic flowers.
I would suggest a nice, light IPA, something like Wildcraft Wild Eye PA. Its light enough not to overwhelm the spring flavours of the pesto but the slightly spicy and citrus overtones bring out the flavours from the basil and garlic.