I broke down this weekend and bought a bunch of ramps. I know that I've lambasted this diminutive cousin of the onion previously, implying, I suppose, that the emperor has no clothes. But the balmy weather this past Saturday was so intoxicating that my cynicism was momentarily suspended when I saw these plucky little green shoots, and I felt compelled to shell out the $2.50 for a small bunch.
I was inspired by the Amateur Gourmet's post about Franny's spaghetti with ramps to try them in pasta, and was quite enamored with Franny's idea of cutting them lengthwise to mimic the shape of the pasta.
However simply sauteing them in butter and oil seemed a bit boring, so I added some fresh mint, which brightened the taste up considerably, and a poached egg, which added a silky, luxurious element (and served as a healthy, cheap protein component if the nutritional aspects are at all important to you).
I can think of few indulgences more satisfying than preparing this dish for yourself (along with any friends/loved ones) for a weekend lunch.
Spring Pasta With Ramps
Yields 1 serving
3 ounces linguine, bucatini or spaghetti
12 ramps, cleaned, trimmed of roots and cut lengthwise into several strips
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 egg, poached
Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil, and salt liberally. Drop pasta in to cook.
Set water (there should be about an inch in the pan) on to boil in an egg poacher, or if not using an egg poacher, set a quart of water to simmer in a medium sized pot.
Heat butter and oil over medium heat. Once butter has melted, add ramps, salt to taste, and saute until tender, adding mint approximately halfway through the cooking period.
About two minutes before pasta is cooked, set egg into your preferred vessel to poach. About one minute before pasta is cooked, drain (reserve a cup or so of the cooking water) and add to pan with ramps and mint. Toss to coat with butter and oil, and let cook for a minute, adding pasta water if the pasta is not sufficiently loose. Turn out onto plate and top with the poached egg. Sprinkle Maldon salt over egg to taste and serve.