Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Pasta with greens.

I've been all about the asparagus recently - eating it with eggs, in salads, hot topped with Parmesan and cold alongside leftover chicken - you name it. I've even been mixing it into pasta. I like it most with penne - I can slice the asparagus on the bias, making the pieces roughly the same size and shape of the pasta, which is just a ton of fun.

And, as much as I love asparagus steamed or blanched, I particularly like it when it's been sauteed or grilled. Something about the direct, dry heat gives it a richness that contrasts with its natural grassy flavors. One of the best things about cooking with seasonal ingredients is that things just naturally go well together; I threw ramps and chives into the pan without thinking much about it, and things turned out pretty darn well.

A squeeze of lemon keeps things bright, and a smattering of Parmesan makes them just a bit stinky and complex. All in all, it's good stuff.

Penne with Asparagus and Ramps

1/4 lb. penne rigate, cooked to al dente and drained (research 1/4 cup of cooking water)
2 tsp. olive oil
3 ramps, cleaned and cut into 1-inch pieces
4 stalks asparagus, trimmed and cut on the bias into 2-inch pieces
Juice of half a lemon
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 tbs. finely chopped chives
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet set over medium high heat. Add the ramps and saute for a few minutes, until the leafy parts are well-wilted and the white parts have some dark color. Add the asparagus to the pan and saute for several minutes more, until the asparagus begins to turn bright green and just a bit tender.

Add the lemon juice to the pan, along with the mustard. Stir to combine with the vegetables and season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook for a few moments, until the lemon juice is mostly evaporated. Add half the chives and mix to combine evenly. Add the pasta and combine evenly with the vegetables. If the sauce is a bit dry, add a touch or two of the pasta water.

Remove the pan from the heat and add the Parmesan cheese. Stir to combine, then remove to a plate. Top with the remaining chives, season to taste, and eat!

Serves one.

1 comment:

ABowlOfMush said...

I made a dish so similar to this the other day. Really loving ramps and asparagus right now!

Looks delicious! :)

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