Radish Top Pasta


About 25 radishes, with leaves
12 ounces small pasta, such as penne
1/2 cup pine nuts
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves



1. 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.
2. Fill a large saucepan with salted water and bring it to a boil. Add the pasta and cook it according to the package instructions.
3. 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.
4. Heat the olive oil in the same skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until it becomes 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.
5. 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. Pass more Parmesan at the table.

- From Seasonal Recipes From the Garden, by P. Allen Smith (Clarkson Potter, 2010)

Michael Klein