Quick, make this super-secret spaghetti with pesto before all the ramps are gone! Spring vegetable season will be kaput before you know it (bring on the tomatoes!), so harvest at least one more chance to treat its bright, garlicky, peppery bounty right with Dan Kluger’s greener-than-green pasta dish. The farm-to-table trailblazer and ABC Kitchen chef knows what takes a pasta dish from ordinary to something you’ll crave until next spring.
- 1 cup ramp bottoms (white part only), sliced thinly
- 3 cups ramp tops (green parts only)
- 1 1/2 cup basil, picked
- 1 Thai chili, green
- 1 lemon peel all pith removed (1 small lemon)
- 1 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1/2 cup pistachios, lightly toasted
- 1/2 cup parmesan, microplaned
- 1 pound dry or fresh spaghetti, cooked based on package directions
- 1/4 cup ramp bottoms
- 4 cups ramp tops, cut 1/2-inch in width
- 1 cup English peas, blanched
- 1 cup asparagus, blanched, cut on bias in 1-inch width
- 2 cups parmesan, grated
- 1 teaspoon black pepper, freshly milled
- 2 tablespoons basil, chopped
- 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups pesto
- 1 cup pecorino, microplaned
- lemon zest
- kosher salt, as needed
For the pesto:
- In a sauté pan over medium heat, add olive oil. Add ramp bottoms and sweat until tender, making sure there is no color. Add the ramp tops (greens) and cook until wilted. Remove from heat and cool in a bowl set over ice.
- In a medium pot of water, blanch the basil for 20 seconds. Shock immediately and using paper towels or a clean towel, squeeze out all excess water.
- Using a blender, combine the first two sets of ingredients and purée until bright green and completely smooth. Add all the pistachios and turn the blender on medium speed and pulse until the nuts are coarsely chopped.
- Immediately transfer pesto to a mixing bowl set over ice and stir constantly with a rubber spatula in order to cool the pesto. Once cool, stir in the parmesan.
For the spaghetti:
- Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat, along with the olive oil. When hot, add the ramp bottoms along with a pinch of salt and begin to sauté until tender with no color.
- Add the ramp tops and sauté until wilted. Then add English peas and asparagus.
- Add the spaghetti along with 6 ounces of pasta cooking water, and toss well. Then, off heat add grated parmesan and toss to bring everything together.
- Season with salt and black pepper as needed. Finish with basil and parsley.
- On the bottom of the bowl, evenly spread the pesto, place the spaghetti and vegetables on top of the pesto and finish with freshly grated pecorino, lemon zest and black pepper.
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