Fiddlehead Spring Pasta

Ingredients

For the Camembert sauce

  • 2 Tablespoons  butter
  • 2 Tablespoons  all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 Cup  white wine
  • 1 Cup  milk
  • 1 Cup  heavy cream
  • 1/4 Cup  grated Parmesan
  • 6 Ounces  Camembert
  •   Salt and pepper, to taste

For the pasta

  • 1 Pound  pasta, such as gemelli
  • 1 Tablespoon  butter
  • 2 Tablespoons  olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons  chopped garlic
  • 1 1/2 Pound  mixed spring vegetables, such as fiddlehead ferns, cleaned and cooked briefly
  • 1/4 Cup  dry white wine
  •   Grated Parmesan, for serving

More Recipes

by Josh Kroner

Fiddleheads are the young curled up sprout of an ostrich fern. When properly prepared and cooked, they are meaty, with a slight crunch, similar to asparagus with a unique flavor. The first thing you need to do when you get fiddleheads is to clean them well. Fill a large basin with water and soak them, then rub each fiddlehead to remove the brown leafy fronds. Drain and then spin to dry in a salad spinner. Think asparagus when you prepare them from here. You can steam them and toss them in butter. Sauté them with olive oil and garlic. You can also make many other preparations.

I make a light Camembert cheese sauce (don't think Alfredo!) and mix it with as many spring delectables as I can get my hands on. Fiddleheads are always front and center as long as they're available.

Directions

For the Camembert sauce

Melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Then, add the flour and cook for 1 minute. While whisking, add the wine, then milk and cream. Bring to a boil and let thicken. Turn off the heat and mix in the cheeses. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and set aside.

For the pasta

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain. Toss with the butter and set aside.

Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the oil, then the garlic, and sauté briefly. Add the cooked vegetables and sauté until well heated. Deglaze the pan with the white wine and then add 3 cups of the reserved sauce. Add the pasta and toss. Serve with Parmesan and season with pepper, to taste.

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