Spring has sprung! This recipe from The Seasons on Henry's Farm, a yearlong memoir-diary-cookbook that takes readers through each season of life on a sustainable farm, is the perfect dish for a new spring day. Enjoy!
Ramp and Goat Cheese Pasta
Today, ramp hunters head into Illinois woodlands in late March and early April, before the trees even begin to bud, to gather this native plant for the first fresh greens of the season. Both the foliage and the bulbs, whether raw or cooked, can be used on pizza or sandwiches, in salads and soups, and in omelets, quiches, and other egg dishes. At the same time the ramps are coming into season, baby goats are being born, which means it’s also the start of the fresh chevre season. What better way to welcome the new season of earthly delights than with a ramp and goat cheese pasta?
1 pound linguine, spaghetti, or other pasta
15–20 fresh ramps, both stems and leaves
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
¼ cup fresh chevre (or more, to taste)
Pecorino–Romano cheese, freshly grated, to taste
Olive oil (optional)
Put a large pot of salted water on to boil and begin cooking the pasta as directed.
Clean the ramps, removing the translucent husks over the bulbs (if they are freshly dug) and the roots. Slice the stems into ½- to 1-inch lengths, and coarsely chop the greens. Reserve the greens.
Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan until just smoking, and then remove the pan from the flame. Add the ramp stems to the oil and toss them well, until they are coated with the oil.
Return the pan to the heat and sear the ramps until they are blistered, brown, and soft. Reduce the heat and add the garlic to the pan, tossing until it is toasted to a light brown.
Drain the pasta as soon as it is al dente, and then add it to the pan along with the ramp greens. Toss until the leaves are wilted. Stir in the chevre. Transfer to serving plates, and grate the fresh Pecorino–Romano over the top. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil, if desired.