Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Fettuccine with Ramps

I am absolutely in love with ramps lately. I'd never had them until this year, but when I saw a vegetable I'd heard of but never had before at the farmer's market, I absolutely had to buy some. Ramps have all the best qualities of onions and garlic and almost pack more flavor than any vegetable has a right to. Ramps definitely aren't a widely known or used vegetable, so there are sadly very few recipes to look through on my favorite websites. Luckily for me, my first foray into cooking with ramps, Ramp Soup, and this recipe are absolutely amazing! I'm not sure if ramps can just do no wrong, I've really lucked out with the recipes I've found, or some combination of the two, but I just can't get enough of these foraged veggies. Because this recipe is so simple, using good olive oil and cheese is critical to making the most of this dish, so use the good stuff here if you've got it. Seize the opportunity to try ramps if you haven't or savor them again if you have, and enjoy this bowl of bright spring flavor.

Fettuccine with Ramps
adapted from Gourmet, via Epicurious
serves 4

1/2 pound ramps
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
12 oz. whole wheat fettuccine
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan

1. Trim roots from ramps and slip off outer skin on bulbs if loose. Blanch ramps in a 6-quart pot of boiling salted water, 2 to 3 seconds, and transfer to a cutting board with tongs. Coarsely chop ramps and put in a blender with zest and oil.

2. Add spaghetti to boiling water and cook a few minutes, then ladle out 1/2 cup pasta water and add to blender. Purée ramps until smooth and season with salt. Continue to cook spaghetti until al dente, then ladle out about 1 cup additional pasta water before draining spaghetti in a colander. Return pasta to pot with ramp purée and toss with parmesan over moderate heat 1 to 2 minutes, thinning sauce with a little pasta water as needed to coat pasta, if desired.

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