Wild Ramps are all the rage in the spring time, and you will see some really creative dishes at restaurants around town and in food magazines. They might seem a little trendy, but it's only because they available for such a short period of time that everyone wants to use them at once. I was lucky enough to come home with some beautiful Ramps from Specialty Produce and couldn't wait to try them out since it was my first time using the little delicacy.
It was getting a little late and we were starving, so I wanted to make something that would come together really quick, while still give the Ramps the love they deserve. A quick pesto just sounded just right, and it turned out delicious! I love experimenting with different kinds of Pesto, and this one is a winner.
If you have never heard of, seen or tasted ramps; you can read all about them over on the Specialty Produce website. They are Wild Leeks and have a very fresh and mild garlic/green onion flavor. Be sure to pick some of if you have the opportunity.
Super simple. Just these ingredients, plus the Parmesan cheese that I totally forgot to place in the shot. 😕
Blanch the dark green Ramp leaves, make the pesto, sautée the Ramp bulbs in a little olive oil, combine with the pasta, and that's it.
- ½ lb wild ramps cleaned well
- ⅓ cup nuts such as pine nuts, toasted
- olive oil
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- salt & pepper
- 12 oz orecchiette pasta
- ½ cup + more parmesan cheese grated
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- To prep the Ramps: Trim the dark green leaves off. Trim the bottom the roots off, and slice the bulbs in half, then crosswise into smaller peices. Blanch the leaves in the boiling water for 30 seconds, then place in an ice bath. Using a spider or slotted spoon, remove the leaves and squeeze out the water.
- Place the blanched leaves in a blender or hand blender cylinder. Add half of the nuts and blend in ¼ + cup olive oil, until the desired pesto consistency is reached. Season well with salt & pepper.
- Cook the pasta al dente in the boiling water and reserve ½ cup of the water.
- Heat some olive oil in a large skillet. Sautée the Ramp bulbs with the red pepper flakes, salt and pepper until they start to become translucent.
- Stir in the pesto and the remaining nuts. Add a little of the reserved pasta water and warm through. Remove the skillet from the heat, add grated parmesan and season well with salt & pepper.
- Garnish with shaved parmesan and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.