Fiddlehead Primavera Pasta

by Michelle

fiddleheads unfurling on river's edge

There is something very satisfying about foraging for food. I love picking wild raspberries, blueberries and blackberries. Yesterday was the first time that I have ever picked fiddleheads.

fiddleheads in the rain

My great-aunt and uncle live beside our farm. They have been a constant source of information about our new community. Emma grew up here. She actually lived in our farmhouse from the time she was a toddler until she left home. Her father left the farm to her brother who then sold it to the family that we bought it from. Emma and George moved back to the community 25 years ago luckily for us because they have become our guardian angels! They know this land intimately and generously share that knowledge with us.

Sunday evening, Emma offered to take me fiddlehead picking the following morning. It was pouring rain but we were determined. She took me to a beautiful spot near the farm where we picked gorgeous, green fiddleheads. It was wonderful!

I love fiddleheads anyway they can be prepared. Mom was coming for dinner so I decided to use them in a pasta dish…

fiddleheads cleaned and ready to cook

Linguine Primavera translates to Linguine Springtime. It does not get more ‘springtime’ than this!

serves 4

4 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves of garlic, minced

8 spears of asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces

1 cup of fiddleheads, trimmed and cleaned well!

1 yellow bell pepper, cleaned and diced

28 ounce tin of best quality Italian plum tomatoes

1 handful fresh basil, leaves picked then chopped

2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cubed

sea salt and freshly ground pepper

4 ounces soft chevre, divided into 4 equal pieces 

16 ounces dried linguine, preferably Italian

Place a large skillet over medium heat…add olive oil…when  the oil is hot add the garlic and saute for 2 minutes.

Add diced chicken and saute 5 minutes, stirring often

Meanwhile bring a large pasta pot 2/3 full of water to a rolling boil and add pasta. Cook as per package instructions…

Add the fiddleheads, asparagus and peppers to the skillet with the chicken and continue cooking for 4 minutes

Place the plum tomatoes into the sauce after you have gently crushed the tomatoes with your hand. It’s more like squashing the tomato but you are still leaving it in 1 piece. Pour the juice from the tomatoes into the skillet…add the basil, salt and pepper.

Continue cooking the sauce until the pasta is al dente. Add the pasta, straight from the cooking water to the skillet…toss well and plate. 

Place a piece of chevre on top of each plate and serve.

I love Reggiano Parmigiano so I grate some on top but it is not necessary.

fiddlehead primavera with chicken and chevre

I have taken poetic licence with my ‘primavera’ by adding chicken and chevre but I think it is worth it!

Thanks for reading.