The Circus Gardener's Kitchen

seasonal vegetarian recipes with a side helping of food politics

wild garlic tagliatelle with wilted greens

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This post represents a departure from the usual format of posts on my blog. Instead of the typical, barely-controlled rant about some aspect of the food industry to which I happen to have taken exception, I am instead posting a short video showing me gathering the wild garlic used in this recipe and then creating the dish. The video was filmed and edited by the very talented Luke Smith of the food blog The Thriftchen, who came to stay with us last weekend, and I hope you enjoy it watching it.

While he was down here in Worcester, Luke separately recorded an interview with me in which he got me to talk about some of the motivations and philosophies underpinning the “The Circus Gardener’s Kitchen”, and I hope to be able to post a link to that video in due course. Next week, however, normal service will be resumed, so expect another tetchy diatribe aimed at one or more of the food industry baddies.

foraging for wild garlicrhubarb chard wild garlic pasta doughwild garlic pasta The ingredients in this recipe are essentially a mix of the old and the new – as well as new season wild garlic in the pasta dough and in the wild garlic oil, I have included the last of the old season’s greens from my allotment plot, the Circus Garden, that have survived the mild winter – kale, purple sprouting broccoli, spinach and rhubarb chard. However, any combination of earthy greens would be fine here. Finished off with a generous drizzle of aromatic wild garlic oil, and a little grated Parmesan, this dish is wholesome and utterly delicious!

wild garlic tagliatelle with wilted greens


500 g mixed greens (I used kale, purple sprouting broccoli, rhubarb chard and spinach)
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
40 g vegetarian Parmesan, grated
100 ml wild garlic oil (see recipe here)

for the wild garlic pasta

325 g “00” pasta flour
3 free range organic eggs
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
75 g wild garlic leaves
40 g semolina or rice flour, for dusting


1. First make the pasta. Wash and drain the wild garlic leaves. Bring a pan of water to the boil and gently add the garlic leaves and stir. After two minutes the leaves will have wilted. Drain them through a colander and then plunge the leaves into a bowl of ice cold water to arrest the cooking process. Drain the leaves again, squeeze out as much excess water as you can, then chop the leaves very finely.

2. Place the flour, chopped wild garlic leaves, eggs and olive oil into a bowl and mix to a smooth, speckled dough. Knead the dough for around 10 minutes, until it is firm but slightly elastic in texture, like a large lump of playdough. Be patient, it will take a little time for the mixture to all come together. If necessary add a tiny amount more olive oil but err on the side of caution or you will end up with pasta that will stick when you roll it. Wrap the dough in cling film and refrigerate for 1 hour.

3. Remove the pasta dough from the fridge. Divide into eight and roll out each piece into a long, thin rectangle. Using a pasta roller, feed the pasta dough through the machine at its thickest setting (setting number “9” on most machines). Repeat this several times, gradually reducing the setting until you can put it through on the thinnest setting and the pasta sheet has a smooth sheen. Now feed the sheets of pasta carefully through the tagliatelle shape cutter. Carefully gather the tagliatelle strands and place them on a baking tray along with the semolina or rice flour and toss to ensure the tagliatelle strands don’t stick together.

4. Bring a pan of salted water to the boil Add the pasta. After a minute add any of the hardier greens, such as kale and broccoli. After a further two minutes add the more fragile greens such as spinach and chard. Cook for one more minute then drain the pasta and greens in a colander. Return them to the pan, add a couple of tablespoons of the wild garlic oil and stir through.

5. To serve, put a generous mound of the pasta and wilted greens on each plate. Drizzle lightly with more wild garlic oil and finish off with grated Parmesan.

Categories: vegetarian


20 replies

  1. That pasta dish is fantastic. I love the video of you out picking the wild garlic.

  2. Thank you Hilda. I love the video too, I think Luke did me proud there. 🙂

  3. During spring we eat a lot of meal with wild garlic. We find it in a forest near our home. The pasta recipe is very interesting. I will try it … if I find time.
    Nice week-end

  4. Love it! From go to whoa. Your Circus Gardener apron is the business!

  5. Thank you CG. The apron was a surprise present from my lovely mom 🙂

  6. Beautiful. I don’t have enough wild garlic now to make this but I might try it with the last scraps of kale instead. Along with some wilted greens. I don’t eat enough of those.

  7. Thank you Urvashi. It should be lovely with some earthy kale.


  8. Great video, Steve.The recipe looks delicious and I’m very jealous of all your kitchen gadgets!

  9. That pasta looks fabulous and great to see the video – adds another dimension and interest 🙂
    great to see you creating 🙂

  10. I bet your wild garlic oil takes the dish to a whole other level. Mmmmmm, just looks so nice!

  11. Hi Steve, What a wonderful video. Your apron really made me smile, and it was excellent to see you behind the scenes. The pasta dish looks fantastic. Amy

  12. Is there anything that you can use instead of wild garlic? We have plenty of wild leek but no wild garlic growing near us.

    • Hi Bridget. Lovely as it is, wild garlic sadly has a fleeting season, growing from late March to early June in the UK. Outside of those times, I would suggest using an equivalent amount of spinach in the pasta to get the same speckled effect. To replace the garlic oil, a sauce comprising your wild leeks, a little garlic and some basil leaves cooked in olive oil would work nicely. I hope this helps! Steve


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