Pasta with garlic scapes & walnuts

15 Jul


Growing 200-plus head of garlic every year (232 this season, thank you very much) I go through a lot of garlic scapes. I’m sure you’re seeing them at the farm stands and at your better grocery stores right about now.

It’s the season. And it doesn’t last long.

Most of the scapes that I don’t pass along to friends wind up being roasted as a side dish, but plenty find their way into a simple aglio e olio (literally, garlic and oil) sauce with my pasta. I like swapping the garlic cloves for the scapes because it adds a really nice texture to the aglio e olio. This version we have here also includes walnuts, which adds both texture and flavor.

It’s one of those super simple pasta dishes that you wind up craving over and over, so give it a try while the scapes are still around. Otherwise you’ll have to wait until next year.


Get your pasta water going because this won’t take more than a few minutes. Then grab a few scapes (I’ve used four here, as I was only feeding myself on this occasion).


Remove the tips (seen at rear) and chop the scapes and some hot pepper up, like so. You’ll also need a small handful of chopped walnuts.


Saute in olive oil for a few minutes, or just until the scapes have softened (just don’t let them get crispy). Oh, and I’ve also added a few anchovy filets, even though I know most of you won’t. (C’mon, live a little, anchovies are awesome!)


When your pasta is just shy of al dente turn up the heat under the scapes and add the pasta to the pan.


Then add some of the (well-salted) pasta water and incorporate.


After the water has all but evaporated (a minute or so) you are good to go.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, garlic scapes can last for weeks in the fridge, so don’t be shy about stocking up the next time you run across them.

I mean, can you ever have enough aglio e olio?

5 Responses to “Pasta with garlic scapes & walnuts”

  1. Charlene Baumbich July 15, 2019 at 8:25 pm #


  2. Alan Doctors July 16, 2019 at 2:30 am #

    Your latest contribution has sent me to sleep with a smile on my face

  3. J July 16, 2019 at 3:35 pm #

    I love garlic and I use it in alot of dishes! I have never even seen garlic scales or have eaten fresh garlic. ☺
    Simple easy meals are great when you want something fast!
    Have a great week and weekend coming up!

  4. twinklechar June 24, 2020 at 4:52 pm #

    That sounds amazing. What do you do with tips? Why not use in dish?

    • mistermeatball June 24, 2020 at 6:09 pm #

      You can use the tips, yeah. The reason I often don’t is that oftentimes I’m using older scapes (the result of having so many each year, and the fact that they stay in the fridge quite some time), and the tips don’t hold up as well as the rest of the scape, that’s all.

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