Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Linguine with Ramps

Following the logic of cooking with seasonal foods, I have finally gotten around to cooking with ramps. After making a delicious pizza, I still had quite a few ramps left over, so I decided to turn them into a pasta dinner that was kind of a spin on pasta aglio e olio.

First I thoroughly washed the ramps, cut off the roots, removed any loose outer layer of the bulb, and then separated the leaves from the bulbs. I gave the bulbs a fine dice, and added them to a hot pan that already had a couple tablespoons of olive oil and about a teaspoon of anchovy paste melting into it.
(While all of this is happening, I have already dropped some linguine in salted boiling water.)
I had the heat on medium low, so the "sauce" would come together slowly and gently.  To the diced ramp bulbs I added a pinch of red pepper flakes.
After the ramps had started to become fragrant, I added some prosciutto cubetti (I had barely two tablespoons left in the fridge and decided they would be a nice addition to the dish.)
(I also realized I didn't have quite enough oil in the pan at this point and added a bit more. Remember, you need to have enough to just coat your pasta, and the ramps will absorb some of what you put in the pan. Also, prosciutto does not render fat the same way pancetta does, so keep that in mind if you add either to your dish.)
For the ramp leaves, I took the larger ones and sliced them down the middle, but otherwise cut them all crosswise into thirds. When the pasta had about 2-3 minutes left to cook, I added the ramp leaves to the pan and seasoned with salt.
After they wilted down, I finished the mix with a pat of butter.
Adding the pasta to the pan for the last minute of cooking, I also added 1-2 ladles of pasta water to the pan, along with a hearty handful of grated pecorino romano to complete the sauce.
I was very pleased with this dish, although many of the tasty bits kind of sat at the bottom of the bowl, so it's possible that it would benefit from a different shaped pasta, such as orecchiette, or maybe an orzo.
Definitely tasty tho, and a nice Spring twist on a Winter comfort food.


Joe Ambrosino said...

A perfectly conceived meal, and you're right a different shaped pasta might have been better. Whenever I'm not sure which to use, I go with farfalle. BTW, I gave you a plug on my latest post which uses marscapone in the recipe!

RocknRollGourmet said...

Thanks Joe!