Wild Garlic Spaghetti with Chilli Oil

Pasta wild garlicWild garlic and garlic

Since when I was a little kid, springtime has always been synonym with foraging and cooking with wild herbs. For years in this season, our table has been filled with dishes featuring wild garlic, wild hop shoots, mauve leaves, dandelion, and nettle. Usually, we would keep things simple and stir fry the herbs quickly before throwing them in a frittata or a savory tart, or directly on a plate as a side for meat or hard boiled eggs. Sometimes, we would do risotto or pasta or even soup –a simple minestrone with legumes and grains and whatever vegetables the season offered. Living in the countryside has deeply shaped my way of conceiving food as seasonal in the first place, and of cooking while following this philosophy.

In London, the availability of produce from all over the world fascinates and scares me at the same time. It is as if the symbolic value of time and place that food carries was completely deleted and forgotten, so much so that the meltin’ pot of people intermingles with the meltin’ pot of foods. It feels great to have such a huge amount of ingredients to select and cook with, but in a way it feels confusing, too. This is why I love farmers’ markets – they help me reconnect food with a place and a time and find a balance between myself and what is around me. In Wimbledon, where we live at the moment, there is a small farmers’ market happening on Saturdays. Last week, we bought greens and a big bunch of wild garlic, then headed home and made a big pasta lunch.


Wild Garlic Spaghetti with Chilli Oil

serves 2
200 gr spaghetti (regular, whole wheat or gluten free)
2 tablespoons coarse sea salt
60 ml/ 1/4 cup good extra virgin olive oil
2 dried chilies, crushed
a bunch of wild garlic leaves, chopped
pinch of salt
freshly ground pepper, to taste
Grated Parmesan, to taste


Fill three-quarters of a large pot with cold water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. When it boils, add coarse salt and spaghetti (do not break them, push them down slowly with a wooden spoon until they are submerged). Cook the pasta al dente following cooking instructions (count a couple minutes less than what written on the package).
While the water boils and the pasta cooks, make the sauce. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat, add chilies and let them fry for a few minutes, then add the garlic leaves and sauté them until tender. Season with salt and pepper.
Drain the spaghetti and add them to the skillet with the rest of the ingredients. Toss everything for a minute over medium-high heat. Remove, season with grated Parmigiano and serve immediately.

8 Comments

  1. Claudia April 22, 2012

    Ma che buoni! Questo è il piatto di pasta che preferisco di più in assoluto e nella tua versione lo trovo assolutamente squisito!

    Reply
  2. SENKA April 22, 2012

    mmmmmmm, mi gusta 🙂 semplice e buono!
    Today I got wilde green present – the wilde garlic, and it is in the owen right now in my tart.

    Reply
  3. Mariella April 23, 2012

    Ho pensato anch'io molto ultimamente al concetto di mangiare "cibo di stagione". Era natuale per me dove sono cresciuta, ancora sento i miei dire cose tipo: "non e' tempo per questo o quel cibo". poi sono andata via e l'era dei supermarket ha preso il sopravvento, ora che vivo all'estero, sento sempre piu' la nostalgia di quel modo di nutrirsi semplice e sano.La pasta sembra ottima.

    Reply
  4. Sigrid April 23, 2012

    Ecco vedi i lati buoni del stare altrove che a roma? io aglio selvatico (cioè orsino, almeno mi pare molto simile, vero? è lui?) qua nisba mentre a casa dei miei ce n'è a non finirlo mai… vabbe… 🙂 ps. wimbledon?? mi devo esser persa un pezzo, non dovevi andare negli us?? xx

    Reply
    • Valeria April 23, 2012

      eh, storia lunghissima, diciamo che è una tappa intermedia, lavorativa :)) sisisi, aglio orsino, è lui, confermo! Non ci avrei mai creduto, e funziona benissimo con olio e limone, sta bene ovunque!

      Reply
  5. Terry April 23, 2012

    Ottima la variante con l'aglio orsino… Diciamo che a me l'Inghilterra stimola… Perchè trovi di tutto, dall'etnico a verdure locali che qui si fa una fatica boia a trovare..incluso l'aglio orsino che è in piena stagione anche li…. Poi trovi anche le cose fuori stagione dall'estero e pensi "ma aspettare no" … Io aspetto con ansiamla stagione delle ciliegie …delle pesche… Cmq vabbè …di fronte al resto ci passavo sopra!!!!

    Reply
  6. Juls @ Juls' Kitchen April 24, 2012

    eh… io ci feci il pesto quando ero a Londra dai miei amici, qui proprio non si trova, che peccato… mi manca, sì!

    Reply
  7. bruna April 24, 2012

    Ma che bello questo blog!!! Belle preparazioni e splendide fotografie!
    Sono capitata qui dal Cavoletto, curiosando qua e là, ed ora ti metto sulla home del mio blog tra i preferiti così ti tengo d'occhio! ;O)
    Ciaoooo

    Reply

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