We’re currently unpacking two apartments into one. In other words, it takes twenty minutes to find the pepper grinder and somehow, we have three pasta servers. Naturally, I think this is the best time to cook.
So off I went to the market to find some ingredients to make a mess with.
I had never tasted a ramp until I moved to New York and you know what they say: there is no zealot like a convert. Ramps taste somewhere between garlic and leeks, but milder. They are among the first greens to pop out of the ground in the spring and only appear for six to eight weeks. They’re also mostly foraged. Of course, New Yorkers scramble to pay $20/lb for them. As my friend aptly noted, “You had me at garlic”.
So when I saw ramps at the market, I knew they were the perfect thing to cook in our new place. Our first homemade meal (!) — and just the thing to make our new apartment smell like home :)
Linguine with sautéed ramps, toasted breadcrumbs, and pecorino romano
Adapted from One For the Table
12 oz linguine
2 bunches ramps, white parts separated and leaves roughly chopped
4 tbs olive oil
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
1/3 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, grated (plus more for serving)
1/4 cup toasted breadcrumbs (I just tossed regular breadcrumbs in a pan for a few minutes)
a few wedges of lemon
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Cook pasta in salted water until al dente. Reserve 1 cup pasta water.
Warm olive oil in a 12″ sautée pan over medium-high heat. When the oil just starts to smoke, remove pan from flame and add ramp whites. Cook until the whites start to blister, about 2 minutes, then return pan back to burner. Sautée ramps another 3 minutes, then add garlic. Once the garlic starts to smell nutty but before it browns, add ramp leaves and cook until just wilted. Make room in the pan and add pasta, pasta water, and cheese, and combine well. Stir in breadcrumbs. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve immediately with wedges of lemon and extra cheese.
Note: I forgot to add chili flakes — ok, I couldn’t find the chili flakes — but the addition of a half teaspoon would provide a welcome kick.