When spring hits the city ramps are one of the first items to arrive at the Greenmarket. I always have ignored ramps as I didn't know how to prepare them but this year I saw too many posts and was too eager for fresh, local, spring food not to try them. As I enjoy the straightforwardness of Sally Schneider's recipes, which tend to be rich and healthy, I made with her Pasta with Ramps.
While simple this recipe took some time to prepare. My ramp bulbs took much longer than 10-15 minutes to soften perhaps because they were gargantuan? This pasta dish felt very earthy, appropriate given that ramps are found through foraging. The cooked down ramps and ramp oil lend a raw, strong flavor that lingers on the palate long after eating. It was interesting but I'm not going to lie my favorite aspect was the Parmesan Reggiano Cheese and memories of being kid.
As a child I spent a lot of time in our backyard playing in my "Australian Indian Fort" making up stories and "meals" with sand, dirt, leaves, water and wild onions, which the taste of ramps brought to mind. The fort was a makeshift teepee formed from screened porch sides leftover from a Florida Room conversion and a wooden crossbar. I carefully wrote out its name in my favorite turquoise and fuschia crayons on the crossbar and passed all sunny days there (and all rainy ones playing dress up and "imagine" in the basement). It was a simple, good time...
While I didn't love ramps I was pleased to recall my time in the fort (thanks Mom and Dad for giving me the fort and good memories of childhood!).