If you’re not familiar with garlic scapes, now’s the time! Garlic scapes are the flower bud of the garlic plant and are removed by growers to encourage growth of the bulb. Rather than waste these tasty stalks by discarding them to the compost heap, you can cook with them. They taste like garlic (of course) and are a great addition to a bunch of dishes, not the least of which is pesto. So yum (we’ll be addressing the versatility of pesto in a whole ‘nother blog, trust me).
This recipe calls for orecchiette, that cute, little hat-shaped pasta, but really you can use this however you wish. I love it with gnocchi, tortellini… whatever. Although lately, I’ve been experimenting with my new spiralizer and believe me, pesto and spiralized zucchini noodles are a match made in heaven.
Conscious Shopping Tip: Make extra pesto and liven up chicken salad or a cold pasta salad. Pesto is also great on a white pizza or you can mix a little in with your mayonnaise for a delicious sandwich condiment.
Orecchiette Pasta with Garlic Scape and Almond Pesto
- 10 garlic scapes, chopped
- 8 to 10 basil leaves, rough chopped
- 1/2 C freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1/3 C slivered almonds
- 1/2 C extra virgin cold-pressed olive oil
- sea salt, to taste
- Step 1 Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
- Step 2 Spread almonds in a single layer over a cookie sheet and toast in oven until lightly golden and aromatic (7 to 8 minutes).
- Step 3 Set aside to cool.
- Step 4 Prepare orecchiette according to package instructions.
- Step 5 In a food processor, combine garlic scapes, basil leaves and almonds along with a couple of tablespoons of the olive oil and pulse to thoroughly blend ingredients.
- Step 6 Add cheese and pulse to mix, then slowly drizzle in remaining olive oil.
- Step 7 Blend to desired texture.
- Step 8 Add sea salt, to taste. You may also add a bit more cheese at this time, if desired.
- Step 9 Pulse to blend.
- Step 10 Drain pasta and return to warm pot, mixing in the pesto.
- Step 11 Serve immediately.