Spaghetti with RampsPosted: April 15, 2012
Your secret ingredient is…RAMPS.
That was the thought that entered my mind yesterday afternoon. We were deep in heart of Jersey at a venue called Ninety Acres Culinary Center in Far Hills, NJ. Picture a huge estate with endless rolling hills and a beautiful brick cottage at the top of a long, windy hill. That’s where we were when we met Ben and Jared, two prospective partners in our latest business venture. Ben, a devoted foodie, was generous enough to gift us a freshly picked batch of ‘ramps’ from his garden.
I accepted the friendly gesture without having a clue how to actually prepare them! That said, I was totally up for the challenge. I imagined myself on the set of Chopped or Iron Chef, being introduced to a secret ingredient.
After scouring the internet, I decided to incorporate them into one of Mario Batali‘s spaghetti dishes . I’ve been making a lot of pasta lately and loved the idea of introducing ramps into a dish I knew would taste good. As part of the recipe, I separated the ramps into root bulbs and leaves (discarding the stems). I ended up with an herbal root similar to garlic/onion/shallot and a leafy vegetable that resembles spinach in consistency.
The end-result was delicious! In stepping up to the challenge, I educated myself on ramps and successfully incorporated a completely new, seasonal ingredient into a great recipe.
Serving Size (2 people)
Estimated time: 15 minutes
- batch of ramps (around 10 pieces)
- 1/2 box of spaghetti
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 tablespoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon bread crumbs
- kosher salt to taste
What You’ll Need:
- medium pot with lid
- large frying pan
- salad spinner (optional)
- cut root bulbs off of ramps. using your hands, remove the loose layer of skin from the bulbs and wash them
- cut ramps leaves off of stems, wash/dry them (I used a salad spinner to dry the leaves) and cut them in half (lengthwise)
- finely dice ramp bulbs (like you would garlic)
- fill medium pot 2/3 with water and add a tablespoon of salt. cover the pot and bring to a boil
- once boiling, add pasta and cook for 9-10 minutes until al-dente (test a strand of pasta near the end for doneness)
- after 5 minutes of cooking, heat olive oil in a separate frying pan (low-medium heat)
- add diced ram roots to the pan and cook for a few minutes until tender
- add a teaspoon of salt and red pepper flakes to the pan and stir
- once pasta is 1 minutes away from completion, add ramp leaves to the frying pan and allow them to wilt
- once pasta is complete, use tongs to remove pasta from the pot and into the frying pan
- raise frying pan temperature to medium/high and cook or 2-3 minutes until all ingredients are incorporated
- mix in breadcrumbs and serve
- drizzle olive oil over the plated pasta