Meave found wild ramps! …and, goodness, they were delicious! We put the first handful of them into an omelet with sweet potatoes, and then the next two batches of ramps went into this delectable dish.
This pasta dish is also how we ate the last two winter squashes from our 2013 harvest. I really enjoyed this spontaneous pasta recipe because it felt super-fancy while actually being extremely simple. A good example of how excellent ingredients can translate to excellent flavor without much fuss.
Here’s what we did:
1) Heat up your pasta water. By the time your pasta is cooked, you’ll be finished with the other steps.
2) Start by preparing the winter squash. Wash the outside, then cut it in half from stem to tail. Scoop out the insides and cut the squash into crescent-moon shaped slices about 1/2-inch thick.
3) Put your squash crescents into a saucepan and braise them in the vegetable stock. (I use the vegetarian version of “Better Than Bouillon.” One teaspoon of that, stirred into 1 cup of hot water.) Let the squash simmer in the veggie stock while you do everything else.
4) Toast your pine nuts. You could do this in a dry skillet on the stove. We opted for putting them on the roasting tray in the toaster oven. Avoid the regret of burning them: Take the pine nuts off the heat as soon as you begin to smell them toasting.
5) Wash the ramps thoroughly.
6) Chop the ramps into perhaps 1/2-inches pieces.
7) Heat up the olive oil in a pan, and sauté the ramps very briefly. You want to sauté them just enough to wilt the leafy part. If you stir the ramps constantly, this will happen quickly.
8) Now you just have to assemble everything. Top the pasta with the squash, ramps, pine nuts, and a generous allotment of grate parmesan cheese. Drizzle the remaining vegetable stock over everything … and enjoy!