Thursday, 3 May 2012

Spaghetti with Wild Leeks

This is probably my very favourite pasta dish, and I love pasta dishes of all kinds. I don't make it very often, because it's a greasy carb-fest, but a nice clump of wild leeks seemed like a good reason to break it out.

Of course the two of us eat it all, but if you were sensible and served it with a salad it would stretch to four servings.

The well-known version of this dish doesn't contain wild leeks, just garlic. I think it's better with a little touch of green, but other possibilities are a handful of shallot greens, minced chives and/or parsley. Shallot greens, by the way, are probably the domesticated onion that most resembles wild leeks. Unfortunately, I've never seen anyone sell them, but if you are growing shallots I think it is well worth while to plant extras to be eaten as greens in the spring. They really do have a rich and subtle flavour much like the wild leeks.

2 to 4 servings
25 minutes prep time

225 to 250 grams spaghetti or capellini
1/4 cup extra-virgin sunflower or olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 to 3 cloves of garlic
1/4 to 1 teaspoon crushed red chile OPTIONAL
16 to 24 wild leeks (ramps)
1 cup finely grated Parmesan or other hard, tangy cheese

Put a large pot of water on to boil for the pasta, salting it generously when it comes to the boil.

Meanwhile, put the oil and butter into a small saucepan. Peel and mince the garlic, and add it to the pan. Wash and clean the wild leeks, and trim off the roots. Mince the bulbs and stems, and add them to the pan of oil and butter. Add the red chile if using. Heat the pan, and simmer the contents gently while the pasta cooks. Don't let the garlic get brown; if it shows signs of doing so reduce the heat and just keep it warm until wanted.

Meanwhile, shred the leaves of the wild leeks finely, and grate the cheese.

When the pasta is done, drain it well. Toss it at once with the shredded wild leek leaves, until they are well wilted. Then mix in the pan of oil and its contents, and toss with most of the cheese, keeping out just a small handful to sprinkle over the top.


Liliana said...


Can you please tell me where did you buy the wild garlic(ramps)?

Thank you,

Liliana said...

Got it from previous articles, you didn't buy them but what store I can find them? Thank you,

Ferdzy said...

Liliana, where are you? In general, I would say you will need to go to a farmers market, or know someone who has them.

Liliana said...

I live on Markland Drive Etobicoke.


Ferdzy said...

Liliana, you could try Front Door Organics;

or find a local farmers market here:

We are getting to the end of the season for them; they were very early this year what with the strange weather we have been having.