Radish Top Pasta

There are so many wonderful uses for the tops of root vegetables, such as radishes, turnips, and carrots, but few of us make the time. However, this recipe for radishes and radish tops is so fast and simple, there is no reason not to try it. The radish tops give the dish a wonderful peppery kick and make it the perfect al fresco spring dinner. I added a little leftover chicken breast to make it extra filling. Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 6 radishes, with leaves separated
  • 12 ounces penne pasta
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

Instructions

Wash and dry the radishes and the green tops. Cut the leaves from the radishes and set them aside. Cut off the top and bottom of each radish, then slice them paper-thin. Next, chop the radish leaves

Fill a large saucepan with salted water and bring it to a boil. Add the pasta and cook it according to the package instructions.

While the pasta is cooking, toast the pine nuts in a dry skillet over medium-high heat until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Set the nuts aside.

Heat the olive oil in the same skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until they become translucent, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the sliced radishes and cook for 2 minutes longer. Add the garlic, toasted pine nuts, and radish leaves, and cook until the leaves wilt and soften. Remove the pan from the heat, season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste, and keep warm.

Drain the pasta, leaving a couple of tablespoons of water in the pan. Add the radish mixture and the Parmesan, and mix. Serve topped with the chopped parsley.

Adapted from by P. Allen Smith’s Seasonal Recipes from the Garden.