Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Pasta with Garlic scapes, peas and Asiago cream sauce

Ever heard of a garlic scape? Wondering what the heck it is? Well, garlic and its relatives in the allium family, (leeks, chives, onions) grow underground, where the bulb begins its journey, soft and onion-like. As the bulb gets harder (and more like the garlic we know), a shoot pokes its way through the ground, its long and thin and very pliable and spins itself into a curled tendril. This stage of growth is the garlic scape. If the shoot is left attached to the bulb it will fade in color, becoming papery and whitish like we know garlic to be and it will stop the growth of the bulb below the surface. Farmers who want to keep the garlic growing snip off these scapes and sell them, a double whammy for the garlic farmer, sell the scapes and the bigger bulbs, win/win!

Yesterday the Husband suggested we take a trip to Whole Foods to see 'what looked good'. He's a smart man, that Husband! The Witch of course never turns down a trip to Whole Foods and was pretty darn jazzed about the whole idea.

Kitchen Witch: "Holy cow, garlic scapes! I thought I'd never see those here in Colorado!"
Husband: "What the hell are those?"
Kitchen Witch: "Garlic scapes, the shoot of the garlic plant. Its supposed to be lightly garlic flavored and delicious"
Husband: "So, you're getting them, right?"
Kitchen Witch: "Yes. However what I'll do with them is up for debate as I've never laid hands to them before, muchless cooked with them! Research is in order!!"

And it was then that I remembered that Yenta Mary, the Food Floozie, had just posted a delightful sounding recipe for Garlic Scapes, peas and pasta. It sounded amazing at the time and now that I had my own curled tendrils of garlic goodness in hand it was time to make it! Before I get on with the recipe let me take a moment to say that if you haven't checked out Yenta Mary's site yet, please do! She's a fabulous writer, awesome cook and filled with all sorts of interesting facts - as well as pronunciations of hard to say Yiddish words which will make us gentiles feel like we're kosher. Its a fun and informative site!

Back to the scapes! When I got home I realized I was out of peas. But I did have snow pea pods, so that's what I used. I also didn't have heavy cream and used half and half. The half & half did kinda curdle when it hit the white wine reduction, it wasn't pretty, but once the cheese was added it all came together in a cohesive sauce. However when making this again, and I will be making this again, I'll use heavy cream. Normally when making a cream sauce I'd use a fettuccine pasta but I was out, so fusilli filled in nicely. The spirals of the pasta helped trap some of the yummy garlic sauce in each bite.

Ok Witch, you've told us about how these scapes grow, how you got them and how you didn't have the correct ingredients but made due. Get on with the good part already: How did it taste?? Well my dear readers the taste was amazing! Garlic scapes are defiantly garlic flavored but its more mellow, not as sharp or hot as the garlic bulbs. The flavor of this dish was very reminiscent of chicken with 40 cloves, rich, mellow, carmalized and almost smoky. All that in 10 minutes. If you're lucky enough to run across garlic scapes GET THEM! Try this dish. I promise the garlic lover in your family will thank you!

Pasta with Garlic Scapes, Peas and Asiago cream sauce
Makes 2 servings
8 oz long pasta of your choice (fettuchini)
4 garlic scapes
about 20 snow pea pods OR 1/2 c fresh peas
1 T butter
1 T olive oil
1/4 c white wine
1/4 c cream
1 sprig fresh oregano
1/2 c fresh grated Asiago cheese (parmesen would be fine, too)
kosher salt

Slice garlic scapes into 1/2 inch pieces, trimming off any tough or woody ends. Slice snow pea pods into 1/4 inch slices. Rough chop the herbs.

Bring a pot of water to boil for pasta. Cook pasta according to instructions on box in well salted water. While pasta cooks prepare sauce.

Heat a skillet over medium high heat. Add butter and oil, once butter has melted add the garlic scapes. Toss to coat in fat and cook about 1 minute, until the scapes smell fragrent and are barely brown. Add the pea pods and cook 1 minute longer, garlic scapes will start to brown.

Add the wine and oregano and deglaze pan. Reduce wine by half. Add the cream, salt & pepper and Asiago cheese. Stir to melt and incorporate cheese into sauce. Add cooked and drained pasta, toss with sauce and serve.

Nutrition Factsprovided by SparkPeople recipe calculator
Amount Per Serving
Calories 703.7
Total Fat 43.0 g
Saturated Fat 23.8 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.0 g
Monounsaturated Fat 8.6 g
Cholesterol 87.9 mg
Sodium 1,043.0 mg
Potassium 124.0 mg
Total Carbohydrate 47.8 g
Dietary Fiber 2.6 g
Sugars 2.1 g
Protein 29.5 g


Yenta Mary said...

Oh, bestill my little flattered heart ... :) This was bashert [bah-SHAYRT] = "destiny." You didn't have precisely what you needed (in terms of what you'd intended to use), but you had precisely what you needed nonetheless for a fabulous meal. People think I'm a bit absurd for raving on so passionately about the scapes every year, but they are SO deserving of the love!!! Many thanks for making my day!

Stephanie said...

This sounds fabulous! I wonder if I can find garlic scapes in my small town...

anthony stemke said...

Very interesting, have not ever heard the term "scape" used in that context.
The recipe looks wonderful. Maybe with a creamy ,cheesy sauce dish like this, a touch of cayenne would be good, but maybe thats a personal thing. I do like the way you were not tempted to add chives or scallions. So many times onions AND garlic have to be paired.
Thank You for sharing this.

The Slow Roasted Italian said...

Oh my word! This looks soooo good. I will have to keep my eyes out for the scapes. My husband doesn't like garlic as much as I do, he would certainly appreciate a lighter garlic flavor.

StephenC said...

This is a wonderful brand new item for me. I'm due to go to Whole Foods. Wonder if I can find scapes.

Dom at Belleau Kitchen said...

I love that gentle garlic taste. So yummy. This is a dish of perfection for me! I see scapes erratically in the UK and when I do see them I always kick myself for not purchasing them. Now I must!

StephenC said...

My Whole Foods has them - tomorrow!

Candace said...

I'm so happy that Mary pointed the way to this yummy recipe. Tomorrow is my birthday and I'm cooking for the in-laws. Don't ask. :)

I was all set to make Greek food; but, now I think maybe I should go to the Coop tomorrow and get the garlic scapes and make this instead. Yum!

Jenn said...

I've been looking for garlic scapes since I saw Mary's post... of course I couldn't find them. Wouldn't you know I did not stop at whole foods....and there is one right down the way from work...thinking I'm going to have to make a stop at lunch time!!
Loving this pasta with the asiago cream sauce.. YUM!!!

Holly said...

I thought the exact same thing as your hubby! 'What the hell is a garlic scape!' lol This dish sounds wonderful!! : )

April said...

Oh man does this sound good! I have yet to find a good tasting, gluten free pasta though. I'm keeping this one in my "try it" file for when I do. I'm seriously thinking of getting a pasta machine and making my own.

Ellie said...

Andrea, Just had to stop by...and thank you for your sweet comment on my blog. Made my day... and I wanted you to know that!
As for the garlic scapes...I think I may have some in my garden:). Thank you for the wonderful info on it and for the delicious recipe to go along with it:).
Have a great weekend!

claudia lamascolo said...

I love this, garlic and pasta is my favorite and this cheese yum!

Caren with a "C" said...

I love using the fusilli shape as it holds the sauce to the pasta better. I'd never heard of garlic scapes! Now I learned something new today.

tasteofbeirut said...

I bought these garlic scapes once at an Asian market and ended up throwing them away for lack of an idea or recipe; like this pasta, the flavor must be incredible.

Care's Kitchen said...

That is one smart husband! I saw garlic scapes the other day and couldn't believe how $$$ they were- I think they were organic. Well I was in one of those, "no way" moods and now I want to kick myself! Subtle....smokey...YUUUUMMM! Looks awesome Andrea - as always!!1

Nicole said...

I will have to check my WF here in VA for garlic scapes. Sounds so good! What a treat to find your blog!

Shaheen said...

Your recipe and descriptive has got my mouth watering. I really like garlic, but I've never seen garlic scapes in the U.K. The one place I may just find them is in trendy parts of London, so the next time I am there I will keep my eyes out for them. Thanks for the recipe.

Purabi Naha said...

Andrea, was scrolling down your older posts. Hey, this one is amazing too! Who doesn't want to have such a tempting pasta dish!! I am drooling! Great recipe, dear. Thanks for sharing this.

Jessie said...

I got garlic scapes in my CSA share this week and wasn't sure what to use them in. Thanks for the inspiration! Now they won't go to waste...

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