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Agretto / Agretti, also known as Monk’s Beard, is an Italian spring green that is very popular in Tuscany. Highly nutritious, this succulent-looking plant is super delicious on its own as a side dish, tossed with angel hair pasta, or sprinkled in a frittata. The flavor profile also pairs well with fish.

Here’s the low-down

  • Scientific name is Salsola Soda and it’s an Italian spring green that germinates in the cold and then grows during the spring. 

  • Availability is June- September with limited quantities planted each season.

  • Flavor profile is salty, marine-tasting, and slightly crisp, even after it’s been cooked.

  • When cooking with agretti keep it simple, no need to be fancy. Most popular dishes are sauteed with lemon and EVOO.

  • It is a great source of fiber with loads of Vitamins A, K, and C. Immune boosting and helps with digestion.

We’ve shared two recipes below: simply sauteed for a side dish or agretti pasta.


Simple Agretti:

  1. Wash the agretti well and cut off the roots and any thick stem pieces, then dry on paper towels. (the smaller stems are edible, just trim the larger stalkier stems)

  2. Add the cleaned and dried agretti to an oiled saucepan and sauté the agretti until it softens but still retains a little crunch to the bite, about 5 to 8 minutes.

  3. Season with lemon juice, olive oil, flaky sea salt and serve warm.


Agretti Pasta:


  • 1 pound Agretti

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • 3 garlic cloves, slivered

  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne

  • 3/4 pound angel hair pasta

  • Grated parmesan cheese, to taste

  • Black pepper, to taste

  • Lemon juice, to taste



  1. Get a big pot of pasta water going; salt when the water gets hot. Do this before you start picking off all the tender agretti leaves. Generally everything is good to eat except for the central woody stem.

  2. Drop the angel hair into the boiling water and separate it; angel hair has a tendency to stick to itself. It will need about 5 minutes to cook.

  3. As soon as you drop the pasta in, heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and tet that cook for about 1 minute, then add the agretti and cayenne. Stir and cook until the agretti wilts.

  4. When the angel hair is done, move it directly to the pan; you want some of the pasta water to get into the pan. Mix and stir this well, adding the cheese, black pepper and lemon to taste. Serve at once, maybe with a bit more olive oil drizzled over it.