Subscribe

Linguine with ramps and shrimp

Garlicky, oniony ramps – 'wild leeks' – star in this simple, seasonal pasta dish.

  • close
    A simple pasta dish with shrimp and seasonal ramps.
    Blue Kitchen
    View Caption
  • About video ads
    View Caption
of

Farmers markets seem to be leaking into supermarkets. Or at least influencing the better ones. There is more emphasis on seasonal and locally grown in the produce section – like at farmers markets. The most recent example for us was this past weekend at our neighborhood Mariano’s. They had ramps. Hyper-seasonal, local, often foraged ramps.

Mariano’s, a relative newcomer, has been shaking up the Chicago supermarket landscape. They’re expanding aggressively and carving out a position that is part Whole Foods, part everyday grocery store done better. Yes, they stock all the day-to-day goods in the brand names we know. They also have well-stocked deli, seafood, meat and cheese departments. And sushi bars and wine bars and oyster bars. Gelato bars. And live piano music played on baby grands near the checkouts.

And last Saturday afternoon, in their produce section, they had ramps. These were organically grown, not foraged. The ramps had just come in – the produce manager who was unpacking them hadn’t even assigned a computer code to them yet for checkout. And although we had no idea how we would use them, we nabbed a beautiful bunch.

Recommended: 20 pasta recipes

Ramps, also called wild leeks, are something of a mashup of garlic and onions, with the aroma of the former and a mild (but lingering) taste of the latter. And like scallions, you can use the white parts and the leafy green parts. For more about ramps, including their range, history and sustainability, check out this vegetarian pasta dish (topped with a fried egg!) Marion made with them.

Linguine with Ramps and Onions
Serves 3 to 4

12 ounces uncooked linguine
1 bunch ramps (there were 9 in mine)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
salt and freshly ground black pepper
12 ounces uncooked small-to-medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
juice and zest of 1 lemon

1. Start a pot of water to cook the pasta. Meanwhile, prep the ramps. Rinse them carefully, including the leaves. They can tend to be sandy. (Although these farmed ones were pretty clean.) Trim off root ends and chop the white and pale green parts. Stack leaves (in a couple/few batches) and slice them on the diagonal into 1.2-inch or so strips, discarding the dark stems.

2. When water comes to a boil, salt generously and add pasta. Cook according to package directions until la dente. Drain and set aside, reserving 1-1/2 cups pasta water.

3. In a large, deep skillet or sauté pan, heat oil and butter over medium flame, swirling to combine. Add chopped white and pale green parts of ramps and cook, stirring frequently, for about 2 minutes. Add sliced green leaves and cook, stirring frequently, until they wilt and soften a bit, another 2 minutes. You don’t want to brown the ramps, just sweat them. The fragrance now will be something wonderful – like onions, but more subtle, deeper.

4. Add shrimp and cook undisturbed for about 2 minutes. Turn and cook for about 1 minute longer. Season generously with salt and pepper. Add most of the pasta to the skillet and toss to coat with butter and oil, and to mix everything together. Add more pasta unless it threatens to overwhelm everything else. Add cooking water a little at a time if pasta seems too dry.

5. When pasta is just heated through, remove from heat and toss in lemon juice and zest. Plate in shallow bowls, spooning extra ramps and shrimp from the bottom of the pan over individual portions. Serve.

Related post on Blue Kitchen: Spicy Shrimp with Tomatoes and Cheddar Grits

The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of food bloggers. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by The Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers' own and they are responsible for the content of their blogs and their recipes. All readers are free to make ingredient substitutions to satisfy their dietary preferences, including not using wine (or substituting cooking wine) when a recipe calls for it. To contact us about a blogger, click here.

About these ads
Sponsored Content by LockerDome
 
 
Make a Difference
Inspired? Here are some ways to make a difference on this issue.
FREE Newsletters
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.
 

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK