When reading the title of this post one might wonder if I made a typo. “Garlic scapes” were one of the ingredients in my first CSA share, which I picked up yesterday! Until I found out these would be in the selection last Friday, I had no idea such a thing existed. The way I see it, a scallion is to an onion as a garlic scape is to garlic. Here is a picture of the scapes to give you an idea:
They are garlicy but definitely toned down from the bulb version. From what I gather the scape grows from the top of the garlic and is cut during harvest to allow the garlic to continue to grow. Anyhow, let’s move on to the point of this post: the food!
You will need for the pesto:
3 garlic scapes
1 bunch of chives, about a cup
1 cup of tightly packed arugula
1/3 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup grated Parmesano reggiano cheese
1/2 cup (or more as desired) olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
For the pasta:
1 lb pasta
2 small tomatoes, cored and diced
1/3 – 1/2 cups pesto
Parmesan cheese for sprinkling
Give a rough chop to the scapes, chives and arugula before adding to the food processor then add pine nuts and cheese. Cover the processor and turn on the machine, slowly pouring in olive oil until the desired consistency is reached. Stir in salt and pepper as needed. In my opinion the cheese is so salty, it barely needed any more salt but black pepper is always welcome in my book.
Once the pesto is a sauce like consistency set it aside in an empty jar or Tupperware. Unless you are feeding an army you will have leftovers. Some people freeze pesto in ice cube trays to better portion it, however there is much debate on how long the pesto will stay and also if it is bad to freeze it with the cheese already added. I have never frozen pesto, but if you think you won’t use it in time what it the harm in giving it a whirl?
Bring a pot of water to a boil, add salt and cook pasta to package directions for al dente. Drain and add back to the pasta pot. Stir in pesto, start small an add more as you go. A little pesto can go a long way. Throw in the dice tomatoes and turn heat to medium low. You just wan to warm up the tomatoes and take a little if the garlic bite out of the sauce.
Serve warm with a little Parmesan on top as desired. I had mine alongside some green leaf lettuce with balsamic vinegar, mmm.