I came to wild garlic late. Others have known about it’s deliciousness for many a year, but I first tasted it just a couple of years back. Last year, I was determined to forage my own to use it in my cooking.
By the way, in the UK, when we talk about wild garlic we’re usually referring to ramsons (allium ursinum), a wild relative of chives. From wiki, I learnt that “the Latin name owes to the brown bear’s taste for the bulbs and habit of digging up the ground to get at them” which also explains another of it’s aliases: bear’s garlic.
My first stash came early in last year’s wild garlic season, courtesy of the lovely MarkyMarket, who generously shared his secret foraging location with me. I had been intending to make a soup but instead used some of the wild garlic leaves to stuff a chicken before roasting. Lovely!
With plenty of leaves leftover, I decided to blitz the rest raw with oil and pop them into the freezer, in tiny plastic boxes.
My second stash was foraged when the wild garlic was in flower, carpeting swathes of grassy roadside verges in rural Dorset. Much of this harvest was enjoyed as a wild garlic tempura, which was delicious!
Again, I had leftovers, and blitzed with oil before freezing in small portions.
In the year since then, we’ve gradually used up our stock making this delicious pasta which has become a firm favourite. The mushrooms absorb the flavours of the wild garlic and the oil-blitzed leaves coat pasta very nicely.
Wild Garlic Pasta
- Wild garlic leaves and/or flowers on stems blitzed in vegetable oil
- bacon, pancetta or lardons , cut into small pieces
- mushrooms , sliced
- pasta of your choice
Put the pasta on to cook (unless it's fresh and needs much less time).
Fry the bacon until cooked and just beginning to crisp, then set aside.
In the same pan, slowly cook the mushrooms in the blitzed wild garlic and oil. We give our frozen wild garlic oil time to defrost before adding the mushrooms.
When the mushrooms are ready, stir the bacon back in.
Drain the pasta well and stir it in too.
If you have found an abundant source of wild garlic near you (please forage sustainably), do consider preserving some as we did so you can enjoy this simple pasta dish year round.