Easy Spring Farmer’s Market Pasta
by Tori Pintar
I had the privilege of escaping to the California coast and found myself in heaven at a farmer’s market enjoying all the small treasures that spring has to offer. Strawberries, English peas, asparagus, Fava beans, oh my. But what really caught my eye were the ramps. What are ramps? I had always thought they were wild leeks, but according to Eater they are not. What they are is something a little like garlic, a little like spring onions, and a little like leeks that is typically foraged. This was my first foray with ramps. I paired them with wild mushrooms because those too are hitting the market stands strong. This dish comes together quickly, has very little prep and delivers on the subtle flavors of the wild delicacies of spring.
If you have never prepped ramps before, here is some guidance: Mine were very clean, but I hear they can come quite dirty, so make sure all the dirt is gone. Chop off the roots, then if a thin clear skin is present (sort of like on a scallion) peel that off and discard. Many recipes call for the dark green leaves and white bulbs to be cooked separately, but ramps can also be cooked whole. I hear they are great with a good char. I also mixed some in with scrambled eggs and that too was delicious.
Time: 10-15 minutes
3/4 heaping cup Blue Evolution Seaweed Infused Rotini or Penne pasta
1 Tablespoon butter
Handful wild mushrooms, such as King Trumpet, Oyster or Shiitake, chopped or roughly torn
Salt and fresh cracked pepper
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 bunch of ramps (about 15), cleaned, whites chopped and greens roughly chopped, separated
2 heaping Tablespoons finely grated parmesan, plus more for garnish
Zest of one small lemon, finely grated
Crispy rosemary (optional)*
Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente.
Meanwhile, in a nonstick skillet melt butter over medium high heat. Add chopped mushrooms, salt and pepper and toss to coat in butter. Cook until mushrooms begin to brown, about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally to encourage browning. Reduce heat to medium. Add olive oil and the ramp whites. Cook until ramps soften, about 2 minutes.
When pasta has about a minute left, add ramp greens to your skillet and toss to coat.
Once pasta is al dente, strain and reserve pasta water. Add pasta to mushroom and ramp mixture with a scant 1/4 cup of pasta water. Add finely grated parmesan. Stir to coat adding more pasta water as needed to keep it from sticking and getting dry. Fold in lemon zest. Season with additional salt and pepper as needed.
Serve immediately topped with additional parmesan, fresh cracked pepper and the crispy rosemary if using.
*I had some leftover fried rosemary leaves on hand and the second time I made this I threw them on top. I loved this little addition but it is by no means a must. If you have never fried herbs I highly recommend you try.