My family is committing the ultimate act of patriotism this 4th of July.


You will see not a single bout of smoke coming from our barbecue.

You will smell not a single burger (black bean or otherwise) sizzling on our grill.

You will hear not a single note of Lee Greenwood’s “Proud To Be An American” emanating from our backyard boom box (though man, do I ever love that song).

(And no, that’s not because we have finally entered the 21st century and gotten rid of that thing. It’s still, uh, booming.  Usually to the tune of Frank Sinatra’s Christmas album.  Yes, even in July.  Frank refuses to be held down by things like seasons or holidays.  He’s above that.)


I know, right?  This is all very confusing to me also.

But at 9pm last night, after my countless hours of menu planning and google searching and immersing myself in red, white, and blue pinterest boards that made me feel thoroughly inept, unaccomplished, and like an all-around bad citizen for not finding ways to make everything I was planning on serving star-spangled in some way.

After purchasing enough groceries to feed the army that is the EatsWellWithOthers family, along with my darling boyfriend who eats enough for five of me.

I was informed by my father that plans had changed.  We were going out to dinner.

“But, but, my red, white and blue tart!” I shrieked (because, yes I did finally succumb to peer pressure and star spangled at least one aspect of my life).

To no avail.

We have a right to fill our bodies with as much heavy, over-oiled Italian food as we damn well please, people.  And we are going to exercise it!

Truly, the only thing that would have been more all-American would have been if we’d ordered Chinese take-out.  And I’m still not entirely convinced that that won’t end up happening.


Wherever you are and whatever you’re eating, have a fabulous 4th of July!

And if you’re still looking for a side dish to accompany whatever’s going on your grill this evening or you’re going the non-traditional route, this pasta is perfect.  The pesto makes it taste like summer while the sugar snaps offer hints of sweetness amidst that delicious garlic pungency.  And ricotta dollops? Totally the icing on the cake.

PS – If you can’t find garlic scapes, then feel free to just use regular garlic!


Pasta with Garlic Scapes Pesto, Sugar Snap Peas, and Ricotta
Serves 4, adapted from Cook This Now


  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 3/4 cup basil
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced garlic scapes (or 4-5 cloves of garlic)
  • 1/4 cup good parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 lb whole wheat pasta
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 lb sugar snap peas, trimmed and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • fresh ricotta, for serving


  1. Toast the pine nuts in a small, dry skillet over medium heat until they start to smell nutty and turn golden, about 3 minutes.  Pour the nuts onto a plate to cool.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the pine nuts, basil, garlic scapes, cheese and salt.  Process until the herbs are finely chopped and everything is mixed.  Add the oil and process until smooth.  Add salt to taste.
  3. Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil.  Add the pasta and cook until al dente.
  4. While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a medium skillet.  Add the peas and a pinch of salt and saute until they are crisp-tender, about 3 minutes.
  5. Drain the pasta, reserving about 1/2 cup pasta water and toss with the pesto and peas.  Add pasta water as needed so the pesto becomes more sauce-like.  Season with salt to taste.  Top with dollops of fresh ricotta and black pepper.

I am submitting this to Presto Pasta Nights, which is being hosted this week by Ruth of Once Upon A Feast.

You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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73 Responses to Pasta with Garlic Scapes Pesto, Sugar Snap Peas and Ricotta {}

  1. Megan says:

    I finally succumbed to making something red, white, and blue, too, and I’m really hoping the rain doesn’t cause the picnic I’m going to to be canceled… because I’m going to have to eat a lot of cake if it does! Enjoy your dinner tonight. Happy 4th!

  2. london bakes says:

    I am completely in love with this pasta not least because it includes all of my very favourite things.

    Have a wonderful dinner tonight 🙂

  3. Have fun tonight at dinner with everyone:-) This looks delicious as always!

  4. Faith says:

    Haha, love the mention of Chinese take-out — reminds me of A Christmas Story, lol!

    Hope you guys have a wonderful 4th!

  5. Pam says:

    I’m not cooking here either! Whole Foods had a 4th of July bargain that I couldn’t pass up! Happy 4th!

  6. I’ve never used garlic scapes before, but I bet this is so flavorful. Love the globs (sorry i know that’s not an appetizing word but I can’t think of another) of ricotta on it, and how they melt in. This sounds so good!!!

  7. I’ve never seen or even heard of garlic scapes! They look so fascinating! I don’t think we have them in Australia, or if we do, it’s been hiding from me…wish I could get some to taste!

    I think cooking on celebration days really drain me out and make the celebration not as celebratory, more like hard labour day…lol so I tend to go to other people’s houses or go out to eat on those days. 😛 My mother on the other hand, for some reason beyond my understanding, LOVES to hold huge parties. She ends up cooking for 20 odd people and not having anything to eat herself!

  8. Happy 4th of July!! Your pasta dish looks amazing!! I just got my CSA box and i have so many vegetables I need to use up before I go. I’m going to search through your recipes to see what I can find!!

  9. Elizabeth says:

    Again with the peas and ricotta, it’s the key to my heart. I love the color contrast

  10. I just saw garlic scapes at the Farmer’s Market and had no clue what to make… so I passed. But combined with snap peas, this is pure spring delight! 🙂 Yum!

  11. What a wonderful combination of ingredients. Can’t get enough of garlic scapes these days!! This looks awesome. You always make me want to eat pasta dishes because yours look so good! I rarely cook pasta but I crave it when I read your blog posts! Happy 4th!!

  12. Yay — you used scapes! Always looking for new recipes to use them. 🙂 This combo sounds delicious!!

  13. Margarita says:

    Gotta try some garlic scape soon. Happy Fourth of July! Have fun with your family! Whatever you guys end up doing… 🙂

  14. Marcia says:

    I have got to try that. I got garlic scapes last year from the CSA, but none this year.

  15. Man, I have still to find garlic scapes. And it drives me nuts, cuz I know I’d love them. I love their curly-cue-ending-in-a-pointed-bud (yes, I wanted to write something else…but) look! This sounds delicious. And hey, I’m not exactly sure what all-American is anymore. Melting pot and all. I gave in the the patriotic look – but only in wee muffin form 😉 Happy 4th!

  16. bellini says:

    Have an amazing Juky 4th Joanne. Eat all the pesto, Italian or Chinese you want!

  17. Mary says:

    It sounds like you are going to get to eat whatever you want today :-). What ever that might be, eat with gusto and enjoy the day. Have a great 4thof July. Blessings…Mary

  18. Amy says:

    Your family going out to dinner is almost as epic as what’s going on over here – for the 1st time in years, I am not hosting! We were invited to a friend’s gathering of grill and fireworks, and gladly accepted. All I have to do is provide a side. Whatever will I do with myself?? Problem is, I couldn’t decide on a side dish. So I’m making 3. Of course. Have a great one, J!

  19. Sam says:

    This looks delicious! It’s making me wish I had made my scapes into pesto when I had some. Garlic scapes and ricotta are a great combo!

    Don’t worry about going out to dinner–it’s supposed to rain in NYC anyway. Our roof-top party is likely a bust…we should just go to a bar…

  20. Kalyn says:

    Hope you have a lovely dinner with the family. This sounds delicious; would not have thought of sugar snap peas in a dish like this!

  21. I hate when you spend so much time choosing and planning a dish and then don’t get to make it .. some people don’t understand how long it can take to choose a recipe! Sounds like you’ll still have a fun night though, happy 4th of July!

  22. Simply life says:

    have a wonderful holiday! I’d love this meal any day of the year!

  23. Delicious combo, love the ricotta! I have yet to find garlic scapes anywhere.
    Have a happy 4th!

  24. Beth says:

    Have a wonderful holiday! Whether it’s Italian restaurant or Chinese take-out, enjoy whatever you eat with the people you love. (I’m thinking you might need to bring your own vegetarian entree.)

  25. Happy 4th! And we’re not firing up the grill either! We’re going out for dinner and getting korean bbq tacos. I’m such a dedicated foodie, no? haha

    And btw, I’m a pesto fanatic so I’ll be sure to make this dish very soon!

  26. Angela says:

    Sounds like yo have a good plan. We are doing the grill-out thing and it is a thousand degrees outside. I am going to stay inside, as far away from the fire as possible (which will also give my family something to gossip about for the next few months, “Angela is such a princess, blah, blah, blah.”)

  27. Lynn says:

    That looks good! Happy 4th, my friend.

  28. Camila Faria says:

    So….what are you going to do with all that food??? 🙂

    Have a fabulous 4th!!!

  29. That Girl says:

    We’re going out to dinner. I can’t decide if that’s un-American or as American as it gets.

  30. Eat and Enjoy!!
    Have a great time….

    B/W this pasta is looking so interesting to me, I have still not used garlic scapes… Sounds intriguingly delicious…

  31. OohLookBel says:

    Love the vibrancy of this pesto, and the tasty garlic doesn’t hurt, either. So what happened to your red white and blue tart? Sounds fun!

  32. It’s so hot here there isn’t any grilling either much less sitting on the patio with a glass of wine or a beer. A cool restaurant sounds good to me!

    Another delicious dish for my garden peas!

  33. Hotly Spiced says:

    But I would have loved to have seen the red, white and blue tart! This recipe is lovely though, even though it’s green! I hope you had a great time at the restaurant – at least you didn’t have any washing up! xx

  34. Lori says:

    We’e having a low-key 4th – BLTs and sweet potato chips! Not sure what it is, maybe it is too hot this year to do the normal celebrations. Love garlic scape pesto mixed with ricotta. This sounds great!

  35. Christine says:

    Happy Fourth! Your family’s funny. Reminds me of my mom and dad. They’d go out for Chinese on New Year’s Eve. Never could figure out where that idea came from. This salad looks seriously tasty! Will probably make it this weekend. Of course I have yet to see a scape in my life so I’ll just use regular garlic, thanks for noting the number of cloves!

  36. Candace says:

    Oh how I love garlic scapes! This pasta looks amazing. Hope you had a wonderful 4th of July, Joanne!

  37. Kari says:

    I hope you had a great day and night regardless of where you ended up! It certainly sounds like less pressure to me 🙂 This pasta looks delightful if you need a fall back option too.

  38. Johanna GGG says:

    I couldn’t believe when I saw the title of this post – I had been trying to think of what I thought Americans call wild garlic after your comment and I drew blank – now I think I had scapes in mind and I don’t think they are the same as wild garlic – well at least I have solved this question!

    Love your pasta – I would like to think you might find such a wonderful pasta in the italian place you are spending the 4th of july but I doubt it – hope you eat well with others (ha ha ha)

  39. Guru Uru says:

    This pasta has my name all over this my friend 😀
    I absolutely love it!

    Choc Chip Uru

  40. I have a TON of scapes right now, so this is perfect. At my job we pick up full garlic from farmer’s fields, dissect the scapes for insect infestation and then either keep them or give them back. They’ve been relatively insect free this year so I have a whoooole lotta scapes left!!

  41. Tandy says:

    I need a fork that will go through my screen! Hope you had an awesome 4th of July 🙂

  42. Catherine says:

    Dear Joanne, This sounds delicious. I hope you all enjoyed your fourth. It really doesn’t matter where you eat as long as you are all together and have fun. blessings dear. Catherine xo

  43. Cathleen says:

    Hahah, I was going to go all out on Canada day and make something with our..two colors, but failed miserably.
    This pasta looks great! I have never heard of garlic scapes before..

  44. Mom adooores scapes so I’ll definitely have to make this for her =D

  45. Dining Alone says:

    We had pizza for the 4th, so we were not really doing it big either 🙂 That looks delicious!

  46. Geni says:

    Either way, you spent it with family. I love your writing Joanne…as always. And this pasta dish looks incredible. Never have heard of garlic scapes!

  47. Deborah says:

    If it makes you feel better, I had a grilled cheese sandwich because I didn’t have the enerdy to cook. This sounds great!!

  48. great recipe and if I lived in NYC I would eat out alot he he

  49. Oh this looks delicious and I have just made some homemade pesto! Such good timing on this recipe

  50. kankana says:

    I love pasta any day and specially with pesto! Your version with garlic scapes sounds more delicious.

  51. Suzi says:

    Why can I not find these garlic scapes. I know I can use garlic which I love but I so want to try these scapes.. Joanne this dish I am loving.

  52. Jenn Kendall says:

    i so badly want to find garlic scapes! this sounds like an amazing pasta!

  53. Donna says:

    Just googled “garlic scapes.” Many thanks for the continued tutoring!

  54. Elizabeth says:

    Garlic scapes AND ricotta? Yum!!

  55. Happy July the 4th! ahaha.. I guess that usually happens to me on many occasions like Christmas, New Year etc. when I get stuck on googling for recipes and the time I took to select a recipe probably took longer than the baking itself! haha.. But anyway, this pasta looks really good and super healthy!! The cheese is definitely a delicious choice of “icing”! 🙂

  56. Chaya says:

    We had a brunch for July 4th and nothing was red, white or blue. Oops, the cream cheese was white.

    I wish, I had this dish to serve at the brunch. Maybe, next year. I like the idea of the brunch on the fourth. Who said, you have to eat burgers, to celebrate?

  57. Reeni says:

    Hee-hee we went out too – for Chinese food of all things! I LOVE everything about this pasta! Especially the ricotta icing!

  58. Eileen says:

    Green green pesto and ricotta–hooray! Personally, we totally ate Thai curry for the 4th, and I’m more than happy to have done so. 🙂

  59. elly says:

    Love garlic scapes and am mildly obsessed with snap peas. Sounds so great!

  60. Carolyn Jung says:

    I totally want to dig a fork into that. Sugar snap peas with creamy ricotta is such a wonderful duo to sit down with. 😉

  61. There is no single recipe of yours that didn’t make me hungry – and I’m not exaggerating! This pasta looks really good Joanne! This is something that make you feel good after eating a big bowl. 🙂

  62. Katerina says:

    It is not about the food but about the people you are with! Enjoy the moments. The pasta looks fantastic!

  63. Chris says:

    I made up for you, we did TWO cookouts on the 4th since Alexis had to be at work by noon. I got up and grilled lunch for her before she left and then made the exact same thing for our kids and friends that afternoon.

    So no Chinese take out? 😉

  64. Foodycat says:

    This sounds so good! I need to eat more ricotta.

  65. Kerstin says:

    Mmm, what a lovely veggie filled pasta! Hope you had a fabulous 4th 🙂

  66. vianney says:

    We also did not fire up the grill, we headed to the beach and had a pcini. this looks like the perfect meal for an after party feast!

  67. Jeanette says:

    I’ve been making lots of pesto this summer with all sorts of veggies. Sadly, no more garlic scapes – the season is too short. Love this beautiful seasonal pasta dish you created.

  68. Katie says:

    Ooh, it’s those bits of fresh ricotta cheese on top that are just calling to me. Looks delicious. I hope your fourth turned out alright despite the restaurant dinner.

  69. Jenna says:

    I made nothing red, white or blue . . . in fact, I spent the 4th camped out in front of our AC unit. A bowl of this hand-delivered to me would have been dreamy.

  70. Lora says:

    This is my idea of a perfect pasta. So flavorful. I love that you went out to dinner for the holiday.

  71. Mmm, delicious! I need to try garlic scapes before I die.

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