Forager's Pasta: Fiddlehead Fern and Nameko Linguine

Forager's Pasta: Fiddlehead Fern and Nameko Linguine
Staff Writer
Forager's Pasta: Fiddlehead Fern and Nameko Linguine

Darrin Nordahl

Forager's Pasta: Fiddlehead Fern and Nameko Linguine

Fiddleheads are typically par-boiled to tenderize them and to remove some of the bitterness of the raw shoots. One of the most popular ways to prepare fiddleheads after par-boiling is to sauté them, often with garlic, onions, and lemon. I find fiddleheads cooked this way are excellent tossed with pasta. So I created a simple dish with wild nameko mushrooms and fiddleheads... a kind of "forager's pasta." This dish is intensely satisfying, even for meat eaters.

Ingredients

  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3  Cups  fiddlehead ferns, brown chaff removed
  • 1/2  Pound  linguine
  • 1  Tablespoon  butter, plus more to taste
  • 1  Tablespoon  olive oil, plus more to taste
  • scallions, chopped
  • 3  Cups  nameko mushrooms
  • cloves garlic, minced
  • Zest and juice of 1 Meyer lemon
  • 1  Teaspoon  crushed red pepper flakes

Directions

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the fiddlehead ferns and cook until crisp-tender, for about 5 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water.

Bring another pot of salted water to a boil, and cook the linguine until al dente.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the butter and olive oil over medium-high heat. Sauté the fiddlehead ferns, scallions, and mushrooms until the fiddlehead ferns just begin to brown. Add the garlic and cook for 30 more seconds. Then, add the lemon juice to deglaze the pan. Add the crushed red pepper flakes and toss well. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Drain the pasta and return to the same pot. Toss with olive oil and butter, to taste. Then, add the vegetables from skillet and toss again. Serve on plates and top with the Meyer lemon zest.

Nutritional Facts

Total Fat
9g
13%
Sugar
4g
4%
Saturated Fat
7g
29%
Carbohydrate, by difference
19g
15%
Protein
10g
22%
Vitamin A, RAE
272µg
39%
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid
40mg
53%
Vitamin K (phylloquinone)
2µg
2%
Calcium, Ca
52mg
5%
Copper, Cu
1mg
0%
Fiber, total dietary
4g
16%
Folate, total
20µg
5%
Iron, Fe
3mg
17%
Magnesium, Mg
81mg
25%
Manganese, Mn
1mg
56%
Niacin
13mg
93%
Pantothenic acid
2mg
40%
Phosphorus, P
320mg
46%
Riboflavin
1mg
91%
Selenium, Se
9µg
16%
Sodium, Na
17mg
1%
Vitamin D (D2 + D3)
1µg
7%
Water
268g
10%
Zinc, Zn
3mg
38%

Pasta Shopping Tip

Italian food is about simplicity and letting the ingredients shine. So make sure you get ingredients that are great quality and flavor. Farmers markets and specialty stores will have great produce and products. Just be sure to have some great olive oil.

Pasta Cooking Tip

Unlike other highly regarded cuisines, Italian cooking is usually simple to make with many dishes having only 4 to 8 ingredients.Italian cooks rely chiefly on the quality of the ingredients rather than on elaborate preparation.

Pasta Wine Pairing

Sweet chenin blanc, muscat, or amontillado sherry with nut-based desserts; sauternes or sweet German wines with pound cake, cheesecake, and other mildly sweet desserts; sweet chenin blanc or muscat or Alsatian vendange tardive (late harvest) wines with sweeter desserts; sweet chenin blanc or muscat or Alsatian vendange tardive (late harvest) wines, port, madeira, late-harvest zinfandel, or cabernet sauvignon or cabernet franc with chocolate desserts.