No matter how much cold and snow this winter brought us, the daffodils in Central Park boldly proclaimed that spring finally arrived. And with it, we can finally eat something fresh and green besides kale.
Just as last year, dandelion greens were the first to appear at the market. After traveling in Vietnam, I was anxious to have some variation in my vegetable options and swiftly scooped up a bunch. The came the ramps, which I managed to buy yesterday at Eataly. Tonight, I’ll chop a few and add them to the dandelion greens for this ravioli recipe I posted last year. I’m looking forward to dinner and this warmer weather. Also, a quick reminder to sign up for your local CSA. Happy Spring!
1 bunch of dandelion greens, rinsed thoroughly
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbsp of olive oil or lemon oil
1 tbsp of chopped ramps*
Freshly ground black pepper
Crushed red pepper, optional
1 cup of fresh whole-milk ricotta
1/8 cup of parmigiana-reggiano
1 egg, beaten
Wonton wrappers or pasta sheets
Heat a large pot of salted water till boiling. Add dandelion greens and blanch for 4 minutes.
In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil (use lemon oil if you can to counteract the bitterness of the greens) and saute the garlic for a minute or so. Add the greens (and ramps if using). Sprinkle with some salt, pepper and red pepper, if desired, for about 2 minutes.
Remove to a large bowl and let cool. (After a taste test, I had a hard time not eating all the greens at this stage. They’re delicious this way if you don’t want to bother with the rest of the recipe.) When cooled, add the ricotta, parm and egg. Stir to mix thoroughly.
Brush your pasta sheets with water (or a beaten egg) and top with a teaspoon or so of filling. Then place another pasta sheet on top and press down around the edges to form the ravioli. (Note: you can make as many as you want to eat and refrigerate or freeze the rest for later.)
Serve with a sauce of your choosing: cream, blush, marinara, pesto or brown butter. Or you can go a little crazy and lightly fry them in a little bit of butter for a couple minutes on each side. (I recommend a par-boil first, but if the dough is fresh, you can forego this.)
If serving as an appetizer, try a traditional Venetian spritz (campari, prosecco and a splash of soda with an orange peel or green olive). The garlic packs a punch, so you want to account for that. And just about any wine will be fine with this too.