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Home » Entrees, Farm to Kitchen

Spring Fiddlehead Pasta Sauce

By Helen Brody (April 25, 2013)

FiddleheadsFiddlehead ferns are the young, edible, tightly coiled fronds of the ostrich fern. They remain in their coiled form for about two weeks before unfurling into the familiar graceful fern. To clean fiddleheads rub off dry casings. Trim the ends and soak in plenty of cold water. To remove possible toxins and stomach upset, it is always best to steam or boil them for ten minutes before proceeding with a recipe. In the case of this pasta recipe steaming or boiling also tenderizes them for the pasta sauce.

1 box penne pasta

2 cups fiddlehead ferns, washed well

1/4 cup olive oil

6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1/2 cup sherry or white wine

2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves

1/4 cup chopped parsley

1/4 cup chopped chives

salt and pepper

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Boil the pasta, rinse and set aside, sprinkled with a bit of olive oil to prevent penne from sticking together. In a large pot of salted boiling water cook the fiddleheads for 5-10 minutes until tender. Drain and set aside. Add olive oil to a large fry pan and gently sauté garlic for a few minutes. Add sherry or white wine and reduce by about one-third. Stir inthyme leaves, parsley, chives and fiddleheads before folding in pasta. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan.

Yield: 4-6 servings

Source: Adapted from Co-op Food Stores brochure, Lebanon, Hanover, NH & White River Junction, VT

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