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Wild Garlic Pesto Pasta with Gorgonzola Cheese

Wild garlic pesto pasta is the ultimate spring foraged treat, vibrant bold flavours are at the heart of this twist on an Italian classic.

This quick dinner comes together in the same amount of time that it takes to cook some pasta making it a perfect midweek dinner!

Overhead bowls of wild garlic pesto pasta with rigatoni.

Wild Garlic Pesto

For me, one of the finest ways to use wild garlic is in a wild garlic pesto. 

There is of course nothing wrong with basil pesto, it is fantastic! You can find my recipe for it in this pesto pasta with goat cheese, I’ve also got a French pistou recipe for the classic dish, soupe au pistou.

There is never a binary choice in food, there is always room for more, to that end I even make a pea pesto pasta!

On that note, this goat cheese and pesto pizza uses a rocket pesto and it ain’t always green! This pesto alla Trapanese uses almonds and sun-dried tomatoes as does the pesto I use in my halloumi pasta recipe.

This recipe is super quick and will go from your kitchen cupboard to your table in under 20 minutes.

As for preparation chuck it in a blender and hit the button!

And the pinch of sugar? Well, that is a tip I picked up from watching Massimo Bottura and it is genius. It just counteracts that slight bitterness of the herbs!

Close up wild garlic pesto served with rigatoni and gorgonzola cheese.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does wild garlic have any other names?

Yes, it is also known as ramsons, buckrams, and broadleaf garlic to name but a few. 

When is wild garlic in season?

In the UK wild garlic is in season from early-mid March through to the end of April and sometimes into June.

What does wild garlic taste like?

Unsurprisingly wild garlic tastes like, erm, garlic, but it is a little brighter and lighter in flavour.

It can be used in everything from salads through to sauces and is a real treat.

Do I have to use pine nuts?

They are traditional in a pesto but they are expensive and you can sub them out if you want to be a little more frugal.

Everything from sunflower seeds to hazelnuts and walnuts make interesting additions to a pesto.

Why do you transfer your pesto from a blender to a pestle and mortar?

A blender will chop the leaves of the wild garlic but pounding them in a pestle and mortar bruises them and makes them release more flavour.

So essentially I let the blender do all of th heavy lifting and pound in a little more flavour at the end.

Two bowls of wild garlic pesto pasta with rigatoni.

Serving Suggestions

Your main choice when it comes to this wild garlic pesto dish is what type of pasta to serve it with.

I’ve chosen rigatoni here but it works equally well with longer pasta types like spaghetti or linguini. This is one of those dishes where you could pretty much use whatever you have in the cupboard.

When it comes to sides I keep it simple as I do with most of my pasta recipes.

The only thing I add to this recipe is bread, I’d usually opt for some focaccia or ciabatta to mop up that beautiful sauce.

But you could double down on the garlic and add some garlic bread or cheesy garlic bread if you like.

Wild garlic pesto pasta served with gorgonzola cheese.

Equipment Used

I only name-check brands of equipment if I think that they make a material difference to a recipe. But if you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section below the recipe.

  • Stovetop.
  • 20cm or 8″ Saucepan.
  • 20cm or 8″ frying pan.
  • Mini blender and or pestle and mortar.
  • Colander.
  • Stirring and serving spoons.
  • Weighing scales and or measuring jug, cups and spoons.
Wild garlic pesto with rigatoni pasta and gorgonzola cheese.
Yield: 2 Servings

Wild Garlic Pesto Pasta Recipe with Gorgonzola Cheese

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 17 minutes

The season for wild garlic is short but truly magical, this wild garlic pesto pasta is the perfect fast spring/summer recipe. Cooking just 10 minutes with 10 minutes prep means it is a fast, vibrant and beautiful seasonal recipe.

Ingredients

  • 175g (6oz) Short Pasta
  • 50g (1½-2 Cups) Wild Garlic
  • 20g (⅓-½ Cup) Fresh Parsley
  • Pinch of Sugar
  • ¼ Tsp Black Pepper
  • 35g (⅓ Cup) Parmesan Cheese
  • 75ml (⅓ Cup) Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 35g (¼ Cup) Pine Nuts
  • 75g (¾ Cup) Gorgonzola Cheese
  • Salt for cooking the pasta plus extra to taste.

Instructions

  1. Bring a 20cm or 8" saucepan of salted water (I use 1½ teaspoons of water in a pan this size) and cook the pasta until it is al dente.
  2. Place a 20cm or 8" frying pan on a medium heat and toast the pinenuts for 2-3 minutes, then transfer them to mini blender.
  3. Add the wild garlic, parsley, pinch of sugar, black pepper, parmesan cheese and olive oil and pulse to form a nice pesto. I like to transfer it to a pestle and mortar at this stage and give it a pounding to really get the oils flowing.
  4. Have a taste of the pesto and add more salt if required.
  5. Drain the pasta (reserving a little of the cooking water) and whilst it is steaming hot stir through the pesto, half of the gorgonzola cheese and a little of the pasta cooking water.
  6. Serve with the rest of the blue cheese as a garnish.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

2

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1078Total Fat: 86gSaturated Fat: 19gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 62gCholesterol: 43mgSodium: 1048mgCarbohydrates: 58gFiber: 7gSugar: 2gProtein: 23g

Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

Did you make this recipe?

If you made this recipe, I'd love to see what you did and what I can do better, share a picture with me on Instagram and tag me @krumplibrian and tell me how it went!

Mary Azzopardi

Monday 13th of May 2019

A bit confused, Parmesan is not listed int the ingredients but mentioned in the preparing. Gorgonzola is not mentioned in the preparing. Am I right if I prepare the pesto with Parmesan and top with Gorgonzola before serving?

Brian Jones

Monday 13th of May 2019

Hey Mary, thanks for the heads up, I'm not sure what happened there, I seem to have two versions of this 'recipe card' and my website was pulling in an incomplete version. It should be pulling the complete version now :) But in short, your suppositions are correct.

Lesli Schwartz

Monday 15th of April 2019

Oh my! This pasta dish looks so Good! I love the creaminess of it, and I think you can never have enough garlic!

Brian Jones

Tuesday 16th of April 2019

Thanks Lesli

Susan

Sunday 14th of April 2019

You had me at Gorgonzola! This pasta sounds amazing!

Now I'll be on the hunt for wild garlic. I love a challenge. And I'm totally stealing your pinch of sugar in the pesto trick!

Brian Jones

Monday 15th of April 2019

I would love to claim that hint but it comes courtesy of a 3 starred Michelin chef ;) hehehehehe!

Laura

Sunday 14th of April 2019

The closeup of the pasta looks absolutely astonishing! And that wild garlic must be giving the dish so much flavour - perfect choice of ingredients.

Brian Jones

Sunday 14th of April 2019

Thanks Laura, it is certainly not a subtle dish on the flavour front ;)

Julie

Friday 12th of April 2019

This looks incredible! That gorgonzola on top is perfection. My kind of meal!

Brian Jones

Sunday 14th of April 2019

Thanks Julie

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