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Guy’s dandelion pasta recipe image

Print Guy’s dandelion pasta

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)


Quick ideas  


  • 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 & pepper


  1. Plunge the dandelion leaves in salted boiling water for 1 minute (maybe 2 minutes if you want the dish to be less bitter).
  2. Drain and refresh under a cold tap, before squeezing out as much water as possible and roughly chopping.
  3. While your pasta is cooking, gently fry the garlic and chilli in a good splash of olive oil.
  4. At the first sign of the garlic colouring, add the dandelion and cook for about 3-5 minutes.
  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.
  6. Stir in the Parmesan just before tossing in the pasta. Add more Parmesan to taste at the table.
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