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asparagus-tomato-preserved-lemon-ricotta-pasta2I’ve pretty much just given the recipe away in the title – asparagus, tomatoes and cheese! This S/S recipe is really that simple: the tail end of spring married with the best of summer. And pasta!

Okay, it’s a bit more involved than that, but it still is a near-instant meal: perfect for a midweek supper.

Read on for the recipe, including the perky little herbaceous oil that is more than the sum of its parts.

DSC_0998.jpgThis recipe is inspired by what is happening in my part of the world – produce-wise and in the woods behind my house.

Until a few week’s ago I didn’t know that asparagus was commercially grown down the road from me. As in less than three miles away. That fairly blew me away. Being somewhat gnarled and rough-edged, bunches of this particular example of spring’s quintessential vegetable will never make an appearance in the supermarket, but it was gorgeous to eat. Unfortunately I didn’t make it last long enough to use it in these photographs, but it did certainly inspire me to keep this recipe simple and to the point. Good produce needs little to make it sing.asparagus.jpg

Wild garlic is another taste of spring that many of us get excited about, with the added bonus that – unlike asparagus – it can be free. I know some of you, maybe most of you, will need to buy it from farm shops, but it is freely available if you live near woods or shady streams. It is pretty rampant stuff so it should be cheap to buy. I have a friend who has to pull most of it out by the roots and dump it in the compost heap, so prolific and invasive does it grow in her garden.wild-garlic-flowers-food-to-glow.jpg

The season is coming to an end here, and is perhaps gone for the year where you are, so take a completely different tack with this recipe and use fresh basil if you like. I’ll miss the pungent smell as I walk in the woods, but it’s short-lived availability – as with asparagus – is one reason I love it so much. Besides, there is so much else in the garden, woods and farm shops to look forward to.


Hand-selfie with wild garlic 🙂

What summer vegetables are you looking forward to harvesting or buying? Are you still picking wild garlic where you are?


Asparagus, Tomato and Preserved Lemon Ricotta Pasta

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

This is a flexible and forgiving recipe, so make adjustments as you see fit. The only thing I feel compelled to add is that due to its inherent simplicity, you really need to use the best produce and pasta that you can get for this recipe: ripe, flavoursome tomatoes (stored on the kitchen counter, NOT in the fridge), ramrod-straight soldiers of asparagus rather than limp stuff, and quality pasta. Oh, and vegans: use vegan soft cheese, cashew ricotta or similar. xx

Enough pasta* for 2 – about 150g

2 tsp salt, for the pasta water

100g fresh ricotta (use vegan soft cheese or cashew ricotta if liked)

1/2 preserved lemon, finely minced (if very salty, just use the skin and discard the inside)

1/2 bundle of fresh asparagus, woody ends snapped off and discarded

180-200g best tomatoes

Lemon, to serve

Wild garlic flowers, to serve – optional

Black pepper

Wild Garlic Oil

4-6 large leaves of wild garlic

Three-finger pinch of flaky salt

50ml best olive oil

* any pasta shape and type (e.g. gluten-free, durum wheat, buckwheat etc) will be fine

** if you don’t have preserved lemon (here is my preserved lemon recipe – but it takes two weeks to be ready!) Belazu brand is a good bet here in the UK

Special equipment: pestle and mortar


1. Boil a large pan of water, add the salt and the pasta. Cook according to packet directions. Add the asparagus when the pasta is four minutes from done.

2. Meanwhile, tear the wild garlic into pieces and add it to the mortar along with the salt. Crush with the pestle until the wild garlic breaks down; gradually add in the oil and pound until it comes together/emulsifies. Add a little of the lemon juice if you like. Set aside.DSC_0199.jpg

3. Cut the tomatoes into wedges or in half, depending on size. Set aside.

4. Put the ricotta into a small bowl and mix in the minced preserved lemon. Mix well. Taste and add a little lemon juice, as needed.

5. When the pasta and asparagus are finished, drain well and carefully pull out the asparagus and pop them into a bowl of iced water for 15 seconds: this preserves the bright green colour and stops the cooking process.

6. Now it is just an assembly job. You can either toss the ricotta into the pasta, serve into two bowl and top with the rest of the ingredients or, as I have done, make little quenelles (fancy blobs!) to dot over the pasta. Sprinkle over any wild garlic flowers – they are delicious in their own right.asparagus-tomato-preserved-lemon-ricotta-pasta6

Variation: of you aren’t using preserved lemon, you can afford to go a bit more salty with snips of sun-dried tomatoes and slivers of olive; lovely with spiralised courgette/zucchini too (see below). Briefly cooked baby broad beans would also be a nice addition to this dish.


** If you are reading this from the website Easy Low Cal Recipes, this is published without my permission – as are all other posts of mine on this site. **

Wild Garlic and Asparagus Recipes From Others

Wild Garlic Egg Mayo

Fennel and Wild Garlic Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette

Asparagus, Chard and Mint Buckwheat Tart

Wild Garlic Scones

Orzo Risotto with Mint and British Asparagus

Wild Garlic Tattie Scones

Spring Vegetable Pizza with Asparagus and Jersey Royals

Asparagus Quiche

Wild Garlic Spelt Risotto with Black Garlic Sauce

Sweet Potato, Wild Garlic and Spinach Soup

Cheese and Wild Garlic Scones

Broccoli and Asparagus Pizza with Balsamic Glaze

Asparagus and Swiss Chard Soup

Wild Garlic and Cauliflower Soup

Asparagus Pizza

26 thoughts on “Asparagus, Tomato and Preserved Lemon Ricotta Pasta with Wild Garlic Oil

  1. This looks stunning . Love the composition. 🙂

  2. LeckerFoodie says:

    I became hungry just by looking on this pic!!

  3. HedgeComber says:

    Just beautiful Kellie. Love, love, love the pics 🙂
    Janie x

  4. Pinnatifid says:

    This is gorgeous, and delicious no doubt! Great photography, too!

  5. Shannon says:

    And my 14 year old son just PERFECTED a tofu-based ricotta sub for his eggplant lasagna. So good it fooled me. I absolutely love summer veggies and we are eating lots and lots of zucchini, eggplant, basil, and tomato. Just bought a fresh pack of asparagus. Can you guess what we’ll be making with it? Have a great summer, Kellie! So sorry I’ve been away so long.

    1. Shannon says:

      Quenelle = new word for me!!

    2. Hi Shannon. It’s so great to hear from you. You lead an exceptionally busy life so never apologise for being “away”, But you must do me a favour: son’s recipe?? I only ever make the cashew ricotta (literally just made a heap of date sweetened ricotta for a dessert for work), I personally would like to make a convincing tofu one. Ask him if he’ll share? Thanks 🙂

      1. Shannon says:

        Hey elks me the ‘trick’ was pressing as much of the liquid out of the firm tofu block, pulsed with fresh basil, parsley, garlic powder, lemon juice, and olive oil…just a tsp or so of each. Salt as desired. Mine was wetter, obviously, and I also put in nutri yeast. His was way better!! I think we will try it as ravioli next. He needs some noodle practice, may wind up being my house chef. 😀

      2. I do very similar Shannon but usually too darn lazy to really squeeze as needed. I’m a nooch fan in it to but if you prefer your son’s and it’s without it, I’ll try it this way. I also add a tiny bit of best Dijon mustard. Thanks for coming back to me. I hope you and your family are enjoying the summer. It’s just getting going here!

      3. Shannon says:

        Yes, ours too! We have added to it a nail-biter: getting ready for historic flooding. Eek!

      4. Shannon says:

        Mmm. Dijon sounds like a great addition. It really is better without the nootch, but I sprinkle it on later anyway. Let me know how it goes!

  6. Very nice recipe! I will make it with Cretan anthotyro . Thank you!

  7. karenpavone says:

    Looks SO yummy!

  8. I adore ricotta, and asparagus and wild garlic! Lots of delicious spring flavours going on in this simple supper. Thanks for the inspiration Kellie!

  9. This sounds like something I need to make Kellie. If you can believe it I’m not a wild garlic eater, as it’s only become familiar to me since moving to Switzerland 4 years ago. This is just the starter recipe I need though. At the moment I’m loving semi-dried cherry tomatoes and I bet they’d be fabulous in this pasta too!

  10. choclette says:

    What a delightful recipe Kellie, so fresh and zippy somehow. Our wild garlic is well and truly over, so will have to wait until next year now. Luckily, I still have some pesto in the freezer. As for asparagus, I’m very much enjoying it. Summer produce is always something to look forward to – right now I’m waiting for the local strawberries.

  11. I tried wild garlic for the first time this year as some came in my vegetable delivery box. I loved it so much I tried to find some locally but, alas, to no avail. Your pics are gorgeous 🙂

  12. EA Stewart says:

    Such a pretty recipe Kellie! I have been eating my weight is asparagus lately, but {confession} have never had wild garlic, as I have never seen it growing in my neck of the woods. Love the ricotta cheese too {another obsession as of late} and hope to make this for my family soon. Oh, and you just reminded me that “make preserved lemons” should be added to my ever-growing To Do list!! Happy late spring/early summer! xoxo

  13. Ooh wonderful and stunning pics. Love it!

  14. What a gorgeous pasta dish. I’m not that fond of pastas with their thick, heavy sauces, but this, with all its fresh vegetables and that wonderful wild garlic-infused oil makes me want to gobble up a whole plate right now. Sharing as my pick for Recipe of the Day on my social media pages. Thanks for a delightful recipe!

  15. Marie says:

    Picking wild garlic is very restrictive where I live. People abused of the good stuff, so it’s a rare find nowadays. However, garlic scape will be soon available! Maybe I can try your beautiful recipe with this.

  16. RFR says:

    So beautiful!

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