Wild spinach grows in abundance in the hills of Abruzzo and at high altitude elsewhere on the Italian Peninsula.
Unlike cultivated spinach, the leaves of wild spinach are thin and delicate. Wild spinach is neither as sweet nor as juicy as common spinach; it has an earthy, more mineral-like flavor. Some describe the taste of young wild spinach as reminiscent of asparagus.
The simplest preparation for wild spinach is to steam the leaves and stems in a small amount of water until tender. Substitute wild spinach for common spinach or chard in nearly any recipe.
Wild spinach is the base of various pasta stuffings. Florence uses it to flavor gnudi or naked dumplings. In Trentino, its used in ciaroncie, a regional pasta shape similar to ravioli.