Fettuccine with Ramps
June 10, 2011
Oh, ramps, those elusive little harbingers of spring. For the uninitiated, ramps – also known as wild leeks, spring onions, rampson or the very proper allim tricoccum – are an early spring vegetable, available for only a few short weeks at the farmer’s markets. They come around the same time as the fiddleheads and the garlic scapes (if you’re lucky). And they taste. like. heaven. Part onion, part garlic, all delicious.
I usually reserve my ramps for breakfast. Sautéed in a little butter — bacon fat I’ve stored in the freezer if we’re feeling decadent, which we often are — and then scrambled with farm fresh eggs and sharp cheddar. Good bread on the side. There’s nothing better.
This year I thought I’d use up my half pound bunch a little differently. This is how we’ve been enjoying our pasta lately, simple and unfussy. A few simple vegetables, butter, good Parm. I’ve been on a breadcrumb kick since my dinner at Woodlot, where my plate of creamy white beans was transcended to heaven with the addition of a smattering of toasted breadcrumbs. The breadcrumbs had the same affect on the pasta.
I know, I’m late. So late that I’ve heard from Twitter that Ontario strawberries are out, which means that we’re well past ramp season and in to full-on summer. Even the humidex agrees. But I’ve meaning to share this for some time now, we’ll just consider this planning ahead for next year, yeah?
Fettuccine with Ramps
Half a pound of ramps, roots separated from greens and thinly sliced
Half a pound fresh fettuccine
1 Tablespoon butter or bacon fat
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt and fresh ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup toasted breadcrumbs
Olive oil, for drizzling
1. Cook pasta according to pasta directions in well-salted water. Drain well, reserving about 1/4 cup of pasta water and set aside.
2. Heat butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add white part of ramps and sautee until tender. Add red pepper flakes, salt, pepper and garlic and stir until fragrant, about one minute. Add green parts of ramps, stirring until cooked through and wilted.
3. Add drained pasta to the skillet with a splash of the reserved pasta water and toss to coat. Divide among two bowls and top with Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs and a drizzle of olive oil.