Two More Ways to Use Garlic Scape Pesto

I know, garlic scape pesto again, but I am finding it to be so useful.  It has the ease and utility of garlic paste with a gentler, bright, more subtle impact.  Yesterday I put a scant teaspoonful in some tuna salad I was making for our lunch.  I forgo the usual celery/tuna mixtures at this time of year in favor of chopped mixed herbs, fresh from the herb garden outside my kitchen door.   Yesterday I used chives, parsley and dill.  I mixed in lemon juice, mayo, s&p and the pesto… Yum!  With crisp lettuce (this variety is Flashy Troutback), spread on my own whole wheat sourdough bread, it was really good.  The pesto gave it a little zip that raised the sandwich out of the hum-drum.

Tuna Salad Sandwich Filling with Fresh Herbs and Garlic Scape Pesto

Tuna Salad Sandwich Filling with Fresh Herbs and Garlic Scape Pesto

The second experiment was also very successful.  I put a good tablespoonful into Broccoli Raab with Sausage and Orecchiette, using it in place of the finely chopped garlic I usually use.  The broccoli raab is just coming into its own in the garden.  This is one of our favorite meals, one we’ve looked forward to all winter so I was a little hesitant to try the substitution, but it worked out well and avoided the risk of cooking the garlic too long which makes it bitter.  If you can’t find orecchiette in the Italian Section of your store you can use small shells.  Some manufacturers (Sclafani) call it “Little Hats” although it translates to “Little Ears.”


Broccoli Raab with Sausage, Orecchiette and Garlic Scape Pesto

(serves four)

  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage  (or hot sausage, omitting the red pepper flakes, loose or casings removed)
  •  2 bunches of broccoli raab (about 6 cups of tender leaves and shoots)
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 heaping Tbsp. Garlic Scape Pesto
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes (or to taste)
  • 1 C. dry vermouth
  • 1 pound Orecchiette
  • Grated Romano cheese

Fill a stock pot with water and set it on to boil.  Wash and trim the broccoli raab, breaking off leaves from the stems if the stems are tough. Meanwhile, break up the sausage.   Sauté the sausage, adding olive oil if it dries.  Salt the boiling water and blanch the broccoli raab in it until bright green then remove and drain.  Pour the Orecchiette into the salted broccoli raab water and stir to separate individual pastas.  Cook according to package instructions.  While the pasta is cooking, chop the parboiled broccoli raab into bite sized chunks, removing any tough stems.   Drain fat from the sausage if necessary, add olive oil and saute the red peppers flakes (if using) for about 30 seconds, then add the chopped raab and the garlic scape pesto.  Sauté all together for another three or four minutes.  Add the vermouth and continue to cook until pasta is just barely al dente.  Drain the pasta and add to the pan.  Cook all together turning the mixture until the pasta is infused with the sauce and pasta is done.  Sprinkle with Romano cheese and turn again.  Serve with additional cheese.

I added this much pesto to the pan (this is half the recipe, for the two of us)

I added this much pesto to the pan (this is half the recipe, for the two of us)


1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    Donna Corcoran said,



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