For the food-obsessed and locavore crazed, spring means ramps, dandelion greens, wild chives, fiddlehead ferns, and eventually peas and morel mushrooms. Because ramps, which have a short growing season, appear first, the hype around how to use this wild onion has reached insane proportions. Ramps were in such demand that they cost as much as $26/lb in the first week of availability!
Fortunately, today’s Greenmarket had them at a more reasonable $4/bunch, making it easy for me to make this ramp week at EDA!
To start things off, here’s a very simple and quick recipe that highlights the garlic flavor of the ramps. You’ll want to have more than just the leaves, so make sure you get a bunch with the roots. The key to balancing this dish is the cheese. You’ll want to grate it fresh instead of using the pre-packaged version. With the spice from the sausage, it doesn’t need much else.
Squid Ink Fettuccine with Sauteed Shrimp, Charred Ramps and Spicy Sausage
1/2 bunch of ramps
1 Tbsp of olive oil
1/4 lb of hot Italian sausage, casings removed. crumbled
1/2 lb of squid ink fettuccine (or other pasta)
1/2 lb of jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 tomato, diced
1/4 cup of white wine
Freshly ground black pepper
Fresh chopped parsley
Freshly grated parmigiana (or pecorino)
Rinse the ramps well and let dry. Dice the white parts. Heat olive oil over medium in a cast iron pan, add the white parts and sausage. Saute until sausage is browned, about 5 minutes.
In the meantime, cook the pasta in boiling salted water until al dente, according to directions and drain. (You can, of course, use any type of pasta but I love the color contrast of the black fettuccine.) Toss the pasta with a bit of oil, so it doesn’t stick and set aside.
Add the shrimp and tomato to the sausage. Add salt, pepper and parsley to taste. Pour in the wine and saute for 3 minutes until the shrimp is cooked.
Char the green parts of the ramps on a grill or over the burner. Add the ramps to the pasta and toss with a bunch of grated parmigiana. Add the sausage and shrimp mixture to the pasta and stir to combine.
To drink: whatever wine you cooked with or a martini with pickled ramps!