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Pasta with Dandelion Stems

Yield 3-4


  • 1/2 pound linguine
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 ounces pancetta or bacon, coarsely chopped
  • Dandelion stems from 2 pounds of greens, cut into 1 1/2 -inch pieces
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Crushed red pepper
  • Salt
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

How to Make It

  1. Cook the linguine in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente.

  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the pancetta and cook over moderately high heat until crisp. Transfer the pancetta to a plate. Add the dandelion stems to the skillet and cook until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until lightly browned, about 2 minutes.

  3. Drain the linguine. In a large warmed bowl, toss the pasta with the dandelion stems, lemon juice and a large pinch of crushed red pepper. Season with salt and serve; pass the Parmesan cheese alongside.

  4. Wine Recommendation: The dandelion stems and classic Italian flavors--olive oil, garlic, Parmesan and pancetta--call for a fruity, tart, dry Italian white. The best choice: a Gavi, perhaps the 1995 Michele Chiarlo or the 1995 La Scolca Villa Scolca.