CSA Week 3 Recipe: Garlic Scape Pesto


June 23, 2012 by Sara Kreidler

Each week, I post either a cooking or canning recipe that uses the week’s featured CSA ingredient.  Please excuse my chronic tardiness.

My friend Hilary sent me a recipe for garlic scape pesto just before our week 3 CSA box arrived. And lo and behold, I found 3 lovely garlic scapes in my box.

Unfortunately, the recipe Hilary suggested called for 10 scapes, so I was a tad short. To compensate, I added about a cup of fresh basil leaves from my garden.  The result was great — the scapes, which are garlicky and fresh tasting, were balanced out by the basil.  I served the pesto over fresh fettuccine, but this would work just as well with dried pasta.

Inspired by A Garden for the House and my prior pesto recipe, which is adapted from Everyday Italian by Giada DeLaurentiis 


  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 3 garlic scapes
  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • 2 pounds fresh fettuccine or one pound dried fettuccine, cooked al dente
  • 1/2 cup reserved pasta cooking water
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream



  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the pine nuts out in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Toast the pine nuts in the oven for about 4 minutes, stopping to stir with a metal spatula about half way through.  Keep a close eye on the pine nuts as they can go from toasted to burnt very quickly. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  2. Rinse the garlic scapes and cut off the point end and discard. Chop the garlic scapes into 2 inch pieces.
  3. Combine the pine nuts, garlic scapes, basil, salt and pepper in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. With the machine running, gradually stream in the olive oil until the mixture is smooth and thick.
  4. Use a spatula to transfer the pesto to a bowl. Add the parmesan and mix well. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste, and add an extra drizzle of olive oil if needed.
  5. Transfer the cooked pasta to a large serving bowl.  Add the pesto, heavy cream and tomatoes to the pasta and toss well.  Add reserved pasta cooking water slowly, a splash at a time, as you toss the pasta; this will help to make the sauce creamy and rich; note that you will probably not need to use the entire 1/2 cup of reserved pasta water.  Serve with extra grated parmesan.

7 thoughts on “CSA Week 3 Recipe: Garlic Scape Pesto

  1. beckicorn says:

    I just got some scape and I’m not sure what I’ll do with it but this is a really good idea! I will have to try it out!

    • Sara says:

      If you have more than 3 scapes (I was short) there are lots of recipes out there that call for scapes only (no basil). I liked the mix of scapes and basil, so that neither was overwhelming, but I’m sure that scape-only pesto would be good too.

  2. sybaritica says:

    I *still* haven’t been able to find scape so far 😦

    • Sara says:

      I’m not sure where you live or where you might be looking for them. I’ve never seen them in a “regular” grocery store, for that’s worth — but around these parts, I’ve seen them at the farmer’s markets and and the co-op. I do hope you can find some, they’re really great!

  3. […] The original recipe called for thin rounds of lemon on top, and I made the first batch that way but we found it to be too sour.  So I eliminated the lemons on the second go round, and the results were great.  The bread is really easy to make, and you can play with the herbs — I’m going to try some different combinations next time. This bread is really great served with a hearty soup like minestrone, or with a pasta dish like garlic scape pesto. […]

  4. […] cup of pesto (can be traditional basil pesto or garlic scape pesto, or some other kind of pesto; whatever you have on hand or prefer will work just […]

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