It's Official!

Spring has officially sprung. I went this Saturday (very early, thankyouverymuch) to the greenmarket in hopes that the ramps had come in. There is usually one farm that has the best ramps (they also sell delectable potatoes), so I made haste to go hover by the truck. By 7:30 there were a few more people waiting with me, and by 8, there was a full-on ramp riot. In some parts of the country, I guess, there are actually celebrations of the first ramp harvest. I don't blame them- it really makes one believe that there will be other produce at the market besides rutabegas and mealy apples once again.
I scored 3 bunches, and dreamed all day of all of the ramp-y fettucine and scrambled egg goodness that I would be whipping up that evening and the following morning. Here is a recipe for ramp fettucine, inspired by the one over at tiny banquet committee. She seems to have it together enough to prep while she cooks, but over in this kitchen, that tends to lead to a lot of swearing and getting burned.
This is one of those recipes where I would recommend practicing the fine art of mis en place not only because it makes cooking less stressful, but also because you can use that extra hand that's not furiously chopping to sip your wine.
Fresh pasta with ramps
Serves 3-4.

3-4 bundles of clean ramps (you've got to get in there and scrub- take off the roots and any slimy outer layer, and rinse thoroughly and then rinse thoroughly again)
10-16oz. pound fresh pasta, any flat ribbon shape (tagliatelle, linguine, fettucine), depending on how you like your veggie-pasta ratio.
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 to 3 tablespoons butter
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 egg, lightly beaten
the best parmesan you can buy, grated on a microplane or the small holes of a box grater — at least 1 cup

Fill a large stock pot with cold water, salt it generously, and bring it to a furious boil. The most energy-efficient way to do this is to heat your water in a kettle and then pour it into a pot. I don't know why I can remember that but not where I put my shoes.

Chop off the root ends of the ramps and slice the green leaves in half lengthwise and (and again crosswise if they are long). Sauté the root ends in the olive oil over medium heat until they soften, 1 to 3 minutes. Season them with salt and freshly ground pepper. Add the leaves to the pan, along with the butter, and cook, stirring, until they are thoroughly wilted. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Cook the pasta as directed, reserving about 1/2 cup of the water before you drain it. You will want to keep the pasta slightly undercooked, as if it gets mushy, you and your ramps will be sad, sad, sad.

Return the pasta to the pot and stir in the ramp mixture, the beaten egg, and approximately 1/2 cup of grated cheese. Toss everything together (silicone tongs are great for this). Add a bit of the pasta water, a tablespoon or two at a time, if the egg and cheese mixture is clumping. Taste for seasoning (and to get some of the rampy goodness all for yourself before you have to serve it to other people), and serve with additional grated cheese at the table.

Next up... what to do with all of that leftover pasta and extra bundle of ramps that you have hidden away...

1 comment:

Meg Blocker said...

OMG, such a good idea: