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Missy Robbins Wants You to Make this Pasta Before it's Too Late

Hilary Deutsch

May 29, 2018

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Photo: © Evan Sung

Aglio e olio pasta is a stalwart of traditional Italian cuisine and, thankfully, a cinch to prepare. With just a few ingredients—garlic, peperoncino, and extra virgin olive oil—you can have a delicious pantry dinner on the table in under 20 minutes. 

But now that it’s springtime and our local markets are (finally!) flush with produce, we’re kicking it up a notch with Missy Robbins’s riff on the classic primi. Robbins, who recently picked up our Best Chef: New York City award, adds her own spin to this dish by incorporating seasonal garlic scapes. As Robbins explains, "garlic scapes are the stems and un-opened flowers of a garlic plant" and have a short growing season. They offer a "delicate, sweeter garlic flavor" than the cloves, while adding a vegetal crunch and colorful contrast.

Just like the dish this recipe is based on, only minimal effort is involved. Warm up some olive oil in a pan, toss in chopped garlic and red pepper flakes, and add the scapes, a bit of julienned zucchini, and cooked pasta. To finish, Robbins recommends topping each bowl with bread crumbs, fresh mint, and salty Pecorino-Romano cheese. Pick up some scapes before the season is over and make this recipe ASAP.

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Hilary Deutsch is digital media coordinator at the James Beard Foundation. Find her on Instagram and Twitter.