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December 08, 2016
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Wild things

The tender young leaves of field garlic combine with pine nuts, Parmesan cheese and olive oil to make a delicious pesto.
TRR photos by Laura Silverman

8 cups tender Japanese knotweed shoots, washed, trimmed of any leaves and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup heavy cream
Sea salt, to taste
1/2 pound fusilli, or pasta of your choice
Grated Parmesan, to taste
Field Garlic Pesto (recipe to the left)
Bring 2 large pots of water to the boil and salt them well. Into the first, add the knotweed. Cook until very tender, about 10 minutes. (Test with a fork; do not undercook.) Drain and transfer to a food processor or blender. 

Now, drop the pasta into the second pot of boiling water. Cook to al dente texture, according to package instructions.
Add butter and cream to the knotweed and puree until smooth. If there are any annoying fine strings, you can push sauce through a fine mesh strainer. 

Transfer sauce to a large skillet and keep on very low heat. When the pasta is done, drain well. (Reserve a little of the pasta water in case you need to thin the sauce.) Add pasta to the skillet and toss to coat well with the sauce. 

Divide between two bowls and garnish with a large dollop of Field Garlic Pesto and a generous sprinkling of grated Parmesan.