We recently shared this recipe on our Instagram Stories, after spending a Sunday out in the fresh air foraging for nettles, jack-by-the-hedge and baskets and baskets of wild garlic.
Below you’ll find the recipe on how to make wild garlic pici pasta, as well as a video courtesy of our CEO (that’s Child Executive Officer), making his debut in a short foraging and recipe clip, making good use of the wild garlic which is abundant here in the UK right now.
This wild garlic pici pasta recipe is incredibly simple to make and here we keep the cooking simple with a super quick butter sauce.
If you wanted to supercharge the flavour, then you could toss your pici pasta in some pesto, traditional basil will do just fine or double up on the garlicky goodness and add some extra wild garlic.
Or – give it a try served with a rich and unctuous venison ragu, topped with our ever favourite pangrattato (a mix of breadcrumbs, citrus zest, anchovy, chilli and garlic cooked gently in rapeseed oil on ever such a low heat until golden and crisp).
200g wild garlic (or spinach if the season has passed)
A good pinch of salt
600g type 00 flour
Drizzle rapeseed oil
Large knob of butter
Salt and pepper
Making the Dough
Wash your wild garlic and drain well, shaking out as much water as possible.
Place wild garlic, eggs, salt and rapeseed oil into a food processor. Blitz together until finely chopped.
Add the flour to the mixer and pulse until completely combined and starting to form dough.
Making the Pasta
Lightly flour your work surface and turn the pici dough out, knead lightly for a couple of minutes until smooth.
Cover the dough with a cloth to stop it from drying out whilst you roll out your pici pasta.
Take small marble sized pieces of dough and roll them between your hands to form a rough sausage shape. Place this on to the table and using light pressure continue to roll into a long string. Once rolled lay your pici pasta onto a lightly floured tray so that they don’t stick.
Continue until you have used up all the dough.
Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and gently place in your pici pasta. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until tender. Whilst your pici pasta is cooking place another pan on to a medium heat and add the knob of butter with a drop of rapeseed oil. Allow the butter to brown slightly but not burn.
Toss the your pici pasta in the brown butter adding a couple of tablespoons of the pasta cooking water.
Sprinkle in the parmesan and toss to combine, you may need to add a touch more water at this point to loosen things up a bit.
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Before you set off there are a few foraging guidelines to keep in mind to avoid any injury to yourself or the natural habitats you encounter.
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Always forage small amounts for personal use, leaving adequate produce for animals and insects to indulge on, as well as other foragers!
IF IN DOUBT, LEAVE IT OUT.
Only eat something if you are 100% sure of its identification, as some plants can make you unwell, or worse still – some are even deadly. Books are very helpful for this; one of our favourites is ‘Wild Flowers of Britain and Ireland‘, ‘Food for Free‘ and ‘The Forager’s Handbook‘. Websites and social media groups can also be helpful, but make sure you trust the source entirely before you eat your finds.
PICK FROM PLENTIFUL PLANTS
Only forage from plants that have produced plenty of fruit as the plant depends on this to reproduce.
WATCH YOUR STEP
Choose carefully how you access your foraging finds. Avoid crushing plants and habitats underfoot whilst hunting for wild foods.
LEAVE ROOM FOR RE-GROWTH
Avoid taking too much twig and never uproot a plant so that it is always able to regrow after you have foraged from it.
Your foraging kit should include – a small legal carry knife or secateurs, gloves to protect your hands from plants that may sting (the humble nettle) and thorns, and a basket/container or three. Don’t forget to wear long trousers and long-sleeved tops to protect your arms and legs from natural nasties such as ticks (find out more about ticks here.)
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