Fiddlehead Carbonara

Fiddlehead Carbonara

More of springs produce it quickly starting to show up at the markets and this weekend I came across some fiddleheads. Fiddleheads are young ferns that have yet to unfurl and they are quite edible, though they should be well cooked. I first came across fiddleheads last year and I used them to make a fiddlehead shrimp scampi that I quite enjoyed so I was looking forward to finding them again this year. Once again, I decided to use them in a pasta dish and this time I was thing that a carbonara style pasta would be the perfect way to show off the fiddleheads. I really like this carbonara style pasta because it is nice and quick and easy to make and it always tastes great! I also like this pasta as you can easily throw in vegetables like asparagus, zucchini or in this case fiddleheads. In addition to the fiddleheads, I used another of springs bounty in this dish by replacing the garlic with a ramp or a wild leak. This pasta was an amazing way to enjoy the first of the fiddleheads this year and I am looking forward to doing more with them!

Fiddlehead Carbonara

Fiddlehead Carbonara

Servings: 2
  • 1/2 pound pasta (gluten free for gluten free)
  • 4 slices bacon (cut into 1/2 inch slices)
  • 1 cup fiddleheads (trimmed, well cleaned and boiled for 5 minutes)
  • 1 ramp/wild leak or 2 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • pepper to taste
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup parmigiano reggiano
  • 1 handful parsley (chopped)
  1. Start cooking the pasta as directed on the package.
  2. Cook the bacon in a pan and set aside.
  3. Drain all but a tablespoon of the bacon grease from the pan.
  4. Add the fiddleheads, ramp and pepper, toss to coat and saute for a few minutes.
  5. Mix the egg yolks, heavy cream and parmigiano reggiano in a large bowl.
  6. Drain the cooked pasta reserving some of the water.
  7. Add the pasta to the pan and toss.
  8. Remove the pan from the heat, wait for the sizzling to stop and pour the pasta into the bowl with the egg mixture.
  9. Add a bit of the pasta water and toss to coat.


Joanne said...

Good idea! I just used some fiddleheads in a goat cheese version of mac and cheese (really good!) but I really love the carbonara idea...this may have to be my next fiddlehead experiment!

Ruth Daniels said...

I love your creamy fiddlehead carbonara. Funny thing, I'm planning on using my fiddleheads with shrimp like you did last year. I guess it's been subliminally on my mind since then ;-)

Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Night.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A magnificent combination! This dish is very tempting!



tomasz said...

WOW! Simply GREAT!

Bellini Valli said...

This is a gret testiment to Spring kevin.

Lucy's Soup Can said...

My husbands's family is from New Brunswick where fiddleheads grow wild. They introduced me to them, but we always eat them plain with butter and salt (which tastes great). This recipe pointed out that they can be served in other ways too.

jose manuel said...

Se ve estupenda la receta. Un saludo

~RED~ said...

I think i am going to definatly make this. This week. I love fiddleheads and have been thinking how they would be with bacon. Great job, again, LOL When you get a sec, i have something for you at my blog, if you will accept it.

Pam said...

This sounds delicious and everything is better with bacon added to it!

Rachael said...

Ah this looks absolutely amazing, Kevin!

Jennifer said...

I LOVE fiddleheads!!! This carbonara recipe I am saving!!!! :) :)

Cara said...

I just tried fiddleheads for the first time last night and I just learned that I like carbonara. I bet they are great together!

Argentum Vulgaris said...

I never heard of fiddleheads before, when I saw the word I had to investigate, now I have posted on this myself. Of course I linked the idea to your blog and the recipe:

Thanks for a great post idea


Taylor said...

I really hope I stumble upon some fiddleheads at the farmers market this weekend!

Darius T. Williams said...

Good stuff Kev...looks amazing.

♥peachkins♥ said...

I've had fiddlehead but I haven't tried it in pasta!great idea!

blowing peachkisses
The Peach Kitchen
peach and things

Cynthia said...

I am always enthralled by your creations! Excellent!

The Cooking Photographer said...

Kevin this is beautiful!

M. said...

I've always wanted to try fiddleheads but I wasn't quite sure what to do with I know....thanks for the recipe :)

The Hot Plate said...

Amazing! Carbonara and Fiddleheads would definitely be a dynamic duo between the creaminess and crunch! Keep it up!

Edana said...

Cool! I have leftover homemade whole wheat pasta and have been dying to find a way to try fiddleheads...this might just be on tonight's menu! Thanks for sharing!

Jan (Family Bites) said...

Such an interesting use of fiddleheads. I love the idea!

pigpigscorner said...

I really want to try those fiddleheads.

Chef E said...

We love fiddleheads in our house, and I am surprised they are still on the market, but I guess Oregon is still cool enough?

Love this dish!

I look forward to following you, seems you have some good things over here!

Emily said...

This looks like a tasty recipe, but as a scientist who studies ferns, I want to caution you and your readers that as tasty as these look, you should NEVER harvest your own fiddleheads unless they have been identified by an expert (think wild mushrooms, same rules apply). Although a variety of species are eaten in parts of Asia, there is only one species that is thought to be truly safe to consume, the Ostrich Fern, Matteuccia struthiopteris. This is the species that is sold commercially in stores (and what you used in this and your other fiddlehead recipes), and it is relatively easy to identify this fern in the field, but all ferns are not the same! 'Fiddlehead' is a generic term that refers to the unfurling process that all ferns undergo when new leaves emerge in spring - there is no such species as "the fiddlehead fern". Only this one species, the Ostrich fern, is safe for human consumption, and even then it should be boiled or steamed for 15-20 minutes before being sauteed or otherwise included in cooking (something you don't mention doing in this recipe...). This is because ferns contain a huge array of secondary metabolites to fend off herbivores; some are carcinogenic, some cause uncontrolled molting in insects - nasty stuff. When you get the right ones, they are delicious, but please make sure you obtain your fiddleheads from a reputable source and boil them well before eating! If you'd like to know more, I blog about ferns and did a post about edible fiddleheads here:

Happy cooking :)

Anonymous said...

Living out in the country, we have lots of ferns. Alas, by the time your recipe was posted, they were no longer fiddleheads but full blown ferns!!
In my case, I think I would just par boil, then saute gently in a butter/evoo mix with garlic. But proceed as you did further. Humm, maybe a handful of mixed Italian cheese? (to take the place of your other 'creamy' egg/cream ingrentients.)

Claudia said...

I've got a hike lined up to pick some fiddleheads, and this will be an excellent way to use them. Speaking confidently, of course, that I WILL FIND them.

oak dining room tables said...

This is a very nice idea you have here. I am going to try this one. Thanks for sharing.

Post a Comment