Don’t you just love spring? There are so many things I love about this time of year, but hands down one of the things I look forward to the most are the ramps. I discovered ramps a several years ago at a farmers market and while trying to figure out what to do with them I came across this pasta recipe from Mario Batali. I made it and fell in love! I have been making it at least twice in the few weeks that ramps are available each spring ever since. I remember sharing it with my son for the first time when he was about 5. He looked up at me and said “Mommy, I don’t like it…. I LOVE it! This is the best pasta ever!” Who would have thought a 5YO would enjoy ramps quite that much?
What are ramps, you ask? They kind of look like a scallion or spring onion, but slightly smaller and with a couple broad, flat leaves at the top. What do they taste like? I’d say a cross between onion and garlic and they are lovely!
This year were pretty busy on the weekends and didn’t make it to the farmers market for a few weeks so I was super happy when my husband came home last Saturday with a few bunches that were gorgeous! And, once again, our annual “Spaghetti with Ramps” was a hit!
Here is my spin on that Batali recipe. I’ll never say mine is better than Batali (does anyone do pasta better than Batali?), but I was pretty happy with results this week. I added a little white wine to get the yummy bits up off the pan from sautéing the white parts of the ramps and it really brought the whole dish together.
3-4 bunches of ramps, white root ends separated from leafy tops
1-2 tbsp red chili flakes
¼ cup dry white wine (I used Pinot Grigio)
Kosher salt to taste
2-3 tbsp breadcrumbs (I use a couple slices of multigrain bread to make toast and, once the toast is cool, zip it in the vitamix or food processor with a healthy pinch of herbes de province, lemon pepper, and a pinch of salt)
Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil and add 2 tablespoons of salt.
Add the spaghetti to the pot and cook according to the package instructions, until tender but still al dente.
Heat olive oil in a 12- to 14-inch sauté pan over medium high heat.
Add root ends of the ramps to the pan and sauté until tender.
Add a splash of dry white wine to deglaze the pan scraping up any bits that have stuck to the pan. Add chili flakes and salt to taste.
Add the greens and sauté until wilted.
Drain pasta and add it to the sauté pan.
Toss gently to coat the pasta with the sauce.
Add breadcrumbs to the pasta and toss until well combined.
Divide pasta evenly among four plates. Drizzle olive oil over top and sprinkle with additional breadcrumbs. YUM!