June 26, 2012

Farfelle with summer squash and garlic scape pesto

Serving plate with farfelle with summer squash and garlic scape pesto.

Have you tried garlic scapes yet? Garlic scapes are the stems (or "flowering stalks") of hardneck garlic. I only discovered these cute and tasty items last summer at the farmers' market. 

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We bought some and just sauteed them in a little olive oil. They were delicious -- garlicky and peppery and fresh. So this year when I found them, I scooped up a couple bunches and decided to incorporate them into a pasta dish along with some little summer squash we bought.

Garlic scapes.

I wanted to turn the garlic scapes into a sauce rather than leave them in pieces in the dish. What I imagined was pasta that was completely coated in the garlic flavor (my husband and I really love garlic). I decided to make the scapes into a pesto. 

The pesto was packed full of flavor and it was such a great summery pasta dinner, especially with the sauteed summer squash. I used a yellow squash and one that was light green. So grab some garlic scapes from your garden or local farmers' market before it's too late. They are one of those fleeting produce treats that come only once a year. 

The below recipe will serve four people and you will probably have some leftover pesto. Use it for a dip or spread it on a sandwich. Isn't the color lovely?

Bowl of garlic scape pesto.

Farfelle with summer squash and garlic scape pesto
about 2 cups roughly chopped garlic scapes (about 8-10 scapes), tough ends discarded
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon lightly toasted pine nuts
1/4 cup fresh grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
zest of one lemon, plus one tablespoon of juice
sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
extra virgin olive oil
1 pound Farfelle pasta
2 small summer squash, cut into half moons
2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, sliced

Combine the garlic scapes, 1/4 cup pine nuts, cheese, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a food processor. Pulse until everything is finely chopped. Then turn the food processor on low and drizzle in the extra virgin olive oil until the mixture is smooth and turns into a sauce. Season with salt and pepper and then set aside.

Cook the pasta until al dente in salted water. In the meantime, heat another tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet. When hot, add the summer squash. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and golden, about 3-5 minutes. Turn to low heat.

When the pasta is finished, add it to the summer squash along with 1/3 cup of pasta water. Stir well. Add about 1/2-3/4 cup of pesto and stir well. Taste and decide if you want more pesto - adjust as needed. Turn off heat. Stir in basil.

Serve hot topped with the remaining tablespoon of pine nuts along with more cheese.

Plate of farfelle with summer squash and garlic scape pesto.


  1. Garlic Scapes! I never even heard of them before this year and now they are EVERYWHERE! It's funny how food come in and out of fashion! Your preparation looks great - I must say, they sound good. I will definitely check them out at my farmers' markets.
    Have a great day!

  2. I keep forgetting that I have scapes in my fridge and I really need to start remembering! This pasta dish looks so tasty.

  3. Hi Amy ,

    pesto looks delicious and

    neat presentation!!!

    Keep on Amy...

  4. Now I'm dying to try garlic scapes because this pesto recipe sounds so delicious to me (I can never get enough garlic). Wonderful dish! :)

  5. Nice pesto Amy, I like the idea of garlic scape...sounds really tasty.
    Hope you are enjoying your week :)

  6. I have never tried garlic scapes - it kills me because I know I would love them! This pasta looks absolutely delicious.

  7. This looks so good for summer! That pesto looks incredible :)

  8. Dear Amy, This is great summer dish! Light and delicious and sure to please. Please do visit soon! Blessings, Catherine

  9. This pasta looks SO good! I'm always a sucker for recipes that have the word "pesto" in it. I've never made my own, but I will soon!

  10. Oh lovely pasta with fresh homemade pesto..I would love to try it!

  11. delicious way to enjoy scapes!! and now i'm craving some pasta :)

  12. I never had them before but what a great idea to turn them into pesto! This looks crazy delicious!

  13. I have never heard of garlic scapes before. They sound yummy.

  14. Never seen garlic scapes before. thanks for sharing this!
    Your pesto looks really good!

  15. oh yum, this looks delicious! totally my type of summer pasta dish. i haven't personally tried garlic scapes yet but lots of my friends who have CSAs get them + rave about them. must try 'em soon!

  16. I love making interesting pesto with different ingredients. Roasted Red Pepper Pesto is next on my list, but this will have to be tried too :)

  17. Love this unique pesto with garlic scape. The pasta must be very tasty.

  18. I love pesto! I would love to try the garlic scape version. This is my daughters' fav pasta! Bookmarked :)

  19. Wow! what a great recipe with garlic scape! Nice click here & special! Must give this a go too! YUM! :)

  20. Oh my, this is my kind of dish! Between the pasta, the squash, and the pesto, I'm in heaven!

  21. This looks delicious! I'm going to keep my fingers crossed that the farmers' market still has some garlic scapes next week :)

    1. Good luck! We did see some this morning and I just got a bad full from my father-in-law's garden. I think these ones are going to get pickled.


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