BUCATINI WITH CHANTERELLES AND GREEN GARLIC

SPRING IS THE TIME FOR SPRING ONIONS.  ALL OVER THE FARMER’S MARKET YOU SEE BUNCHES OF ONIONS WITH BARELY-FORMED BULBS AND GREEN STEMS — RED ONIONS, BROWN, AND WHITE.  MY FAVORITE IS GREEN GARLIC, WHICH IS ONLY IN SEASON FOR A FEW WEEKS.  IT COMES IN VARIOUS STAGES OF GROWTH, FROM WHAT LOOK LIKE SMALL REDDISH LEEKS TO FULLY-FORMED BULBS.  ALTHOUGH THEY DEFINITELY SMELL LIKE GARLIC, THEIR TASTE IS MILDER, LIKE A CROSS BETWEEN DRIED GARLIC AND SCALLIONS.  THIS SUBTLE PUNGENCY MAKES THEM SUITABLE FOR MANY DISHES WHERE DRIED GARLIC WOULD BE TOO AGGRESSIVE.  I USE THEM IN RISOTTO, WITH FISH, IN SOUP, AND, IN THIS CASE, PASTA.  PAIRED WITH ANOTHER SPRING FAVORITE, CHANTERELLES, THEY MAKE FOR AN ELEGANT MEAL.
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