I had ramps for the first time this weekend and can't believe how delicious they are.
Ramps are a wild leek that are found mostly on the east coast. They have a very short season of a joyous two weeks and are one of the first spring vegetables to show up at farmers markets. They taste like a delicate garlicky onion. The whole ramp is edible, minus the roots.
Springtime Ramp Pasta
4-5 oz dried linguini
10 fava bean pods
1 oz morel mushrooms, brushed clean and halved
2 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes
1 bunch ramps (about 9)
juice of half a lemon
grated pecorino cheese, for serving
Cook pasta, drain and rinse. Set aside.
Fava beans have to be shelled twice. First, remove outer pod, blanch beans for 60 seconds, drain and remove thin shell. Discard shells and set clean, blanched beans aside.
Clean ramps and remove roots. Cut stem just under the leaves. Set leaves aside. Slice bulbs/stem in half lengthwise. Set aside.
In a pan, heat a teaspoon of olive oil. Add morels, cook about 30 seconds and carefully add 2 tablespoon of water. (Water will hiss and splash a bit.) Cook until morels are soft and water has been absorbed. Push morels to on side of pan and on the other side, heat a splash of olive oil and red pepper flakes. Add ramp stem/bulbs, combine with morels and cook about 1 minute.
Add fava beans and ramp leaves. Cook until leaves wilt. Add pasta, cook until hot. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice.
Serve with a grating of pecorino cheese.