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Hi there from the tail end of ramps season. I woke up with a start earlier in the week vaguely remembering having written a piece for Serious Eats many years ago FROM THE PERSPECTIVE of ramps. Oh, the salad days of The Crisper Whisperer — pun fully intended — when all bets were off and you could talk like a vegetable.
Anyhoo. That post also contained a pretty good recipe for farfalle with ramps and a pretty bad photo of the farfalle with ramps recipe. I’ve improved both and served the pasta for dinner last night, and now here’s me reminding you of it, too.
Ramp pesto freezes beautifully, and this pasta would also be really good out of season with extra ramp pesto and maybe some extra spinach subbing in for the fresh ramps.
What are ramps?
Ramps (also known as wild leeks) are usually foraged rather than cultivated, have an elegant shape and pack a powerful garlicky, oniony punch. They’re among the first real live produce to arrive at seasonal farmers’ markets, and people go a little crazy over them. My first stop on the ramps tour is always, always our ramp pesto recipe. After that I turn to various methods of cooking and preserving to make the most of the mere weeks-long season.
Not all ramp recipes have to put the amp in ramp
This quick and easy recipe for farfalle with ramps, cherry tomatoes, spinach and sopressata, which gets dolloped with that wonderful ramp pesto if you’re so inclined, is a delicious and low-key way to enjoy ramps on a weeknight. The flavor affinities are carefully considered and nicely balanced, but otherwise this meal is the exact opposite of one of those ramps dinners or festivals where you need a ticket and maybe a slight attitude, and you’re there to put the AMP in RAMP. I’m sure that’s fun too, but that’s not what we’re after here.
In case you thought it was.
- 1 pound farfalle pasta
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 12 ounces mixed cherry tomatoes, halved (quarter any obnoxiously large ones)
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 5 ounces ramps, roots removed but otherwise left whole
- 5 ounces baby spinach leaves
- 4 ounces sopressata, 1/4-inch dice
- 2 tablespoons good salted butter (such as Kerrygold)
- Grated Pecorino Romano cheese
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Ramp pesto to dollop, optional
- Cook pasta to al dente in well-salted water according to package directions.
- While the pasta cooks, warm the olive oil over medium heat in a 5-quart round braiser or other deep, wide pan.
- Add tomatoes and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes have softened, just a few minutes. Add ramps and cook until wilted, about two minutes. Add spinach and cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted.
- Turn off heat and add sopressata to the top of the mixture to warm gently.
- Drain the pasta and stir it into the vegetable mixture along with the butter.
- Spoon into bowls and top with grated cheese, black pepper and, if you like, ramp pesto.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 420Total Fat: 14.8gCarbohydrates: 61.5gFiber: 8.4gProtein: 16g