A WALK along a thriving hedgerow at this time of year may well reveal a clump of wild garlic waiting to be picked. You’ll know you’ve found some when you can smell the subtle garlic aroma in the air.
Ingredients (Serves 4)
400g penne pasta
3 tbsp cream cheese
100g wafer thin Parma ham slices, cut into slivers
For the pesto:
250mls extra virgin olive oil
60g whole hazelnuts
3 good handfuls wild garlic leaves, rinsed, patted dry and roughly chopped
2 tbsp freshly grated
Squeeze of lemon juice to taste
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Cook pasta in lightly salted boiling water till just al dente.
- While the pasta is cooking make the pesto. Place the oil and nuts into a blender and whizz till the nuts are chopped.
- Add wild garlic, Parmesan and lemon juice and whizz again. Season.
- When pasta is ready, drain and return to pan. Add 3 good tsp wild garlic pesto.
- Spoon remaining pesto into a jar and drizzle with oil before sealing with a lid.
- Add cream cheese and parma ham to pasta and stir over gentle heat till cheese has melted.
- Serve on warmed plates topped with extra slivers of ham and basil leaves for decoration. Add a few extra drops of pesto on the side of the plate.