Pic of Guy's dandelion pasta

Guy's dandelion pasta

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Guy's dandelion pasta

Main Serves 4 30 min
Determined to make the best of a pesky weed, I served this to a table of groaning teenagers. I expected a rebellion, but they asked for more. The creaminess of the sauce counterbalances the bitterness of the dandelion leaves – just adjust the balance between the two, depending on your audience.' (Guy Watson)


  • 200g washed dandelion leaves (more if you love bitter flavours, less if you don't)
  • 2-4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • olive oil
  • 1 mild chilli, finely chopped
  • 50-100ml double cream or crème fraîche
  • 50g Parmesan, plus extra to serve (optional)
  • 500g pasta (preferably linguine or spaghetti)
  • salt and pepper


Prep time: 10 min
Cooking time: 20 min
  • Step 1

    Plunge the dandelion leaves in salted boiling water for 1 minute (maybe 2 minutes if you want the dish to be less bitter).
  • Step 2

    Drain and refresh under a cold tap, before squeezing out as much water as possible and roughly chopping.
  • Step 3

    While your pasta is cooking, gently fry the garlic and chilli in a good splash of olive oil.
  • Step 4

    At the first sign of the garlic colouring, add the dandelion and cook for about 3-5 minutes.
  • Step 5

    Season, add cream to taste (if you love the bitter flavour of dandelion/radicchio etc use less, add more if you don't) and cook for another minute.
  • Step 6

    Stir in the Parmesan just before tossing in the pasta. Add more Parmesan to taste at the table.

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