It’s May, and chefs across the north are adding fiddlehead ferns, morels and ramps to their menus. Traverse City Chef Pete Peterson shares some of his favorite Northern Michigan recipes to ramp up your dinner menu.

Find more spring recipes by Pete here.

Pappardelle with Fiddleheads and Pancetta


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 ounces pancetta, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 medium shallot, diced
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • Pinch, red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 6–8 ounces, trimmed fiddlehead ferns, blanched in salted water, then drained
  • 1/2 pound pappardelle pasta
  • Salt and freshly grated black pepper to taste
  • Freshly grated lemon zest, to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, or more to taste


Heat olive oil in a large skillet, add pancetta and sauté until lightly browned; add shallot, garlic, pepper flakes, and cook until fragrant. Pour in wine and cook until liquid evaporates. Add the fiddlehead ferns, gently toss, and heat through.

Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente, drain and reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water. Add the pancetta/fiddle head mixture to the pasta and gently toss. Add some reserved pasta water if the consistency seems dry.

Season with salt and pepper and divide pasta onto serving plates or in a large pasta bowl. Sprinkle the pasta with grated lemon zest, chopped parsley and grated Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

May cover


This recipe was originally published in the May 2016 issue of Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine.
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Find more delicious spring dishes by Chef Pete Peterson in MyNorth’s free online recipe guide!

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Photo(s) by Todd Zawistowski