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How to Make Garlic Scape Carbonara

Garlic scapes are available only for a short time in spring. Used in this Garlic Scape Carbonara recipe, the result is a creamy, flavorful pasta.

A white bowl featuring pasta with bacon, a creamy sauce and little bits of green garlic scapes.

Garlic scapes, the curly, flowering shoots of garlic, are available only for a short time in spring. They have a garlic flavor without the bite of mature garlic, which lends a lovely flavor to this Garlic Scape Carbonara recipe.

Last year, while trolling a local farmers market, I discovered some curly green shoots that were unlike anything I had ever seen. Vibrantly green and mostly firm, save a slight grassy portion at the top, I took a few garlic scapes home and cooked with them and promptly fell in love.

What were the strange, unfamiliar things? Garlic scapes.

But garlic scapes have a sadly short season (they are, after all, the flowerings shoots that come off of young, immature garlic and are cut off on purpose), so I didn’t get a chance to have them again last year.

I waited. And waited. And waited.

And when the farmers’ market that I went to last year didn’t open earlier this month (it seems that a lack of popularity has shuttered the hit or miss event), I thought I had missed another season of my delicious garlic scapes discovery altogether.

But I didn’t.

Last week, Will and I tried a different farmers’ market in the pouring rain. The first thing I spotted as we snuck in between two booths was (yesssss!) bunches of garlic scapes bound with rubber bands.

A white bowl featuring garlic scape carbonara pasta.

Of course, I immediately purchased some, with visions of this garlic scapes recipe already dancing in my head. Last summer, I was playing around and crafted a Garlic Scape Carbonara pasta. Now, it’s time to share.

This garlic scapes pasta is delectably creamy with lots of garlic taste (but without the bite of matured garlic).

It’s divine, delicious and delovely. I suggest you try this garlic scapes recipe too.

Garlic Scape Carbonara

Garlic Scape Carbonara

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

This pasta is fantastic as a meal served with a big garden salad and some crusty bread. If desired, add a half-cup of fresh, lightly cooked peas to the mix for a little added nutrition (and sweetness).

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb campanella pasta, , or shape of your choosing
  • 4 slices bacon, (about 3 1/4 ounces), chopped
  • 1/4 cup garlic scapes, , cut into 1/4 inch coins
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Romano cheese

Instructions

  1. Set a pot of water to boiling on the stove and cook the campanella pasta (or desired shape).
  2. While it's cooking, cook the bacon over medium heat until browned. Remove the bacon pieces with a slotted spoon and add the garlic scapes. Cook until soft (2-3 minutes). Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon. (Drain both the bacon and the garlic scapes on a paper towel).
  3. Whisk together the eggs, salt and red pepper flakes.
  4. When the pasta is done, quickly remove it from the stove and set a different burner to low heat. Drain the pasta and add it back to the pot, on the burner set to low. Stir in the garlic scapes and bacon. Add the egg mixture and stir feverishly for 3-4 minutes until sauce is thick and creamy. Don't let it overcook or it will be gloppy. Sprinkle the Romano cheese in, a little at a time, and stir to combine. Don't add it all at once or it won't mix throughout the pasta as well (since it will clump).
  5. Serve immediately.

More garlic scape recipes:

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Garlic Scapes – A Preview of What’s to Come

Tuesday 14th of June 2016

[…] Garlic Scape Pesto ❦ Pickled Garlic Scapes ❦ Garlic Scape Carbonara ❦ Spinach, Pea, and Garlic Scape Soup ❦ Bacon Wrapped Garlic […]

Rick

Wednesday 8th of June 2016

Planting a head of garlic is great but, you would want to separate each clove, and plant them individually. Plant them in the late fall, at least a month before first frost to ensure they sprout. Next spring that clove will grow into a head of garlic. This is when you get to harvest the scapes.

Sheryl Parsons

Sunday 28th of June 2020

@Rick, Is it true that it’s the hard neck varieties that put off the garlic Scapes?

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epb

Thursday 10th of July 2014

This was MAGNIFICENT! I have a ton of scapes from our garden so doubled the amount to great effect. I used rice linguine (gluten intolerant) and they didn't hold their shape so added butter along with scapes & bacon to help it all blend together. So the look wasn't perfect, but the flavor was fabulous. I will use this again during scape season! Thanks.