Pasta with Agretti & Stracciatella

(serves 2 | 20 minutes | easy)

Agretti are quickly becoming my favorite spring vegetable. Although they don’t have a very distinct flavour, they have a lovely lemony aftertaste which gives them lightness and makes the perfect to be served as a side with fish, or mixed into pasta and a frittata.

bunch of agretti (roughly 200g) – 2 tbsp stracciatella (or burrata) – 160g linguine (or spaghetti) – 1 tsp lemon zest – juice of half a lemon – 1 knob of butter – olive oil – peperone crusco (optional, to top)

  1. To preserve the agretti’s flavour as much as possible, the best way of cooking them is to steam them. Place two fingers of water in a large pan, add a steaming basket and the washed agrett, from which you removed the roots. Turn the heat onto high, cover with a lid and steam for 8 to 10 minutes. 
  2. In the meantime, bring a pot of water to boil, add a handful of rock salt and add the pasta, cook according to packet instructions. 
  3. When the agretti are cooked and taste tender, remove them from the steaming basket and place them in a pan with a few lugs of olive oil and the butter. 
  4. When the pasta is al dente, remove it using a slotted spoon, in order to preserve the cooking water, and throw it in the pan with the agretti. Add a few ladles of cooking water, simmer everything together on high heat, mixing to incorporate the agretti and pasta. Pour in the lemon juice and allow for the liquid to reduce (if it is too dry, add more cooking water). 
  5. Place the pasta in individual plates and top with a tablespoon of stracciatella, a sprinkle of lemon zest and a dollop of extra virgin olive oil. If using, crumble the peperone crusco on top and serve.