Root-To-Leaf Radish Spaghetti

To learn more about this recipe, read the related story, "Vegetable, Party of One"

Recipe adapted from Eat Your Vegetables, by Joe Yonan (Ten Speed Press)

Root-To-Leaf Radish Spaghetti
No Ratings
Use the whole radish for this simple, satisfying meal for one.
Prep Time
Cook Time
Total time: 45 minutes
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 4 radishes with their leafy green tops attached
  • 3 ounces whole-wheat spaghetti
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, very finely chopped
  • 1 large shallot, halved and thinly sliced crosswise
  • Zest of 1 lemon plus 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt, plus more if needed
  • ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Optional Ingredients
  • 1 anchovy fillet, very finely chopped (optional)
  1. Toast the pine nuts: In a small skillet set over medium heat, add the pine nuts and cook, shaking the pan often, until they are fragrant and toasted, about 2 minutes. Transfer the pine nuts to a plate to cool.
  2. Halve the radishes root to tip, then slice them into ¼-inch-thick half-circles. Stack the radish greens and roll lengthwise into a tight cylinder. Use a chef's knife to slice them crosswise into thin ribbons.
  3. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and the kosher salt and cook, following the package instructions, until the pasta is almost cooked to al dente (it should still have an undercooked core that would benefit from 1 minute more of cooking). Drain in a colander, reserving ½ cup of the pasta cooking water.
  4. While the pasta is cooking, make the sauce: To a medium skillet set over medium-high heat, add the olive oil. When the oil begins to shimmer, after 1 to 2 minutes, add the anchovy, if using, and cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the garlic and shallot and cook until soft, stirring often, about 3 minutes.
  5. Add the matchstick-cut radishes and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover the skillet and cook until the radishes become tender, about 5 minutes. Remove the lid and stir in the radish greens, cooking until they wilt, 1 to 2 minutes. To the radishes, add the drained pasta, the lemon zest and juice, sea salt and pepper. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook until the pasta is al dente, 1 to 2 minutes longer, adding some of the reserved pasta water if the pasta looks dry. Taste and season with more sea salt, if needed. Serve sprinkled with the toasted pine nuts and the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
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