Ramp Pasta

More apologies for my lack of posting. I fought my way out of my cooking funk only to find myself facing an unprecedented week-long bout of nausea. I ate practically nothing. Highly unusual. I was actually considering changing the name of my blog from I Eat Food to I Hate Food. Ugh. This continued until yesterday around lunch time when I realized I was experiencing a strange sensation that I soon identified as hunger. I’ve never been so glad to be hungry. So I slowly introduced bland foods and…oh, who am I kidding. I promptly ate some drunken noodles, went home, downed a large glass of wine, ate another meal, went out to the bar, drank some beer, and called myself cured. And just because I know what conclusion people leap to about women of child bearing age experiencing unexplained bouts of nausea, I’ll have to disappoint my mother by assuring you there are no little Smarks or Smarkettes on the horizon. A review of my symptoms (which also included headaches and vertigo) seems to indicate “blow to the head” as the cause. I don’t remember any blows to the head, but apparently another symptom of “blow to the head” is not remembering the blow to the head. My in-laws, on the other hand, seem to think it was a migraine, although I’m skeptical about that because the nausea was much worse than the headache and I’ve never gotten migraines before.

Anyway, you don’t come here for a medical review of my physical health, I just offer it as an explanation for my absence. I generally have an iron stomach and I love to eat, so I was starting to get a bit upset about my inability to eat. It’s over now, I hope, so to celebrate I experimented with a seasonal, local vegetable for dinner tonight: ramps.

I first tried ramps last year and was happy to find them in Whole Foods the other day. I’ve upped my swim days from two a week to “every single day I possibly can”, so dinners, even post-nausea, have been and will probably continue to be a little simpler than usual. A quick rampy google returned me several different pasta with ramps dishes that looked very similar, and it fit the bill for tonight.

Ramp Pasta

8 oz pasta (penne, spaghetti, or whatever you prefer)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 bunch ramps (I forgot to weigh mine, but you can see the amount in the photo; it was 12-15 ramps)
high quality salt, like Maldon (my favorite)
red pepper flakes, or crushed dried red peppers
1/4 cup Dragonfly’s Bulk, Dry Uncheese Mix
1/4 cup pasta cooking water

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add some salt (use regular or kosher salt here instead of the fancy salt I call for above), then add the pasta and cook until al dente.

While the pasta is cooking, trim the ends off the ramps. You’ll find they are a lot like sturdier scallions.

Cut the green parts off and reserve, then chop the red and white parts.

Roughly chop the green parts; I just cut them into three pieces.

Crush the dried red peppers between your fingers if using. I used tabasco peppers I got at the farmers market last summer and dried.

Remove about 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water and reserve, then drain the pasta when it is done.

To make this a one-pot meal, rinse out the pasta cooking pot and heat the olive oil in it, then add the white and red ramp pieces and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. It was hard for me to take pictures because my pasta pot is tall and I am short, so I didn’t bother taking a picture of the following step which is add the salt and red pepper and cook for another minute.

Add the ramp leaves …

… and cook until they are wilted, about a minute or two.

Add the “uncheese” and 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water, adding more water if necessary.

Toss in the pasta.

I recently found some fried onions on my cupboard that I’d bought for Thanksgiving and never used, so I topped my serving with a sprinkling of them, which added a pleasant crunch.

Here is a picture of a lunch I made myself earlier this week when I was starting to feel a bit better; it was good although I only managed to eat a third of it. It’s udon noodles in a veggie broth/kombu dashi mixture with a bit of miso, with wakame and spinach, topped with shredded nori.

Hopefully I’ll be posting more frequently now that I like food again. In fact, I already have half a post that I intend to finish this weekend, so I’m already ahead of the game.


  1. whatiwore Said,

    May 13, 2010 @ 10:02 pm

    Ooh man. I want this! Yum!

  2. Josiane Said,

    May 13, 2010 @ 10:03 pm

    I’ve never seen ramps around here; if ever I do I’ll make sure to buy a bunch, as I’d be curious to give this new-to-me vegetable a try. I wouldn’t even have to worry about what to do with it: your recipe it would be – it looks delicious!

  3. Jes Said,

    May 13, 2010 @ 11:51 pm

    What a beautiful ramp pasta! I meant to go ramp hunting this year but never got around to it. Oh well, there’s always next year, I guess. It does sound like you had a doozy of a migraine too. Ugh. My migraines are always heavy on the nausea. So glad you have you back in the land of the eating!

  4. radioactivegan Said,

    May 14, 2010 @ 12:38 am

    I’m so glad to hear you’re feeling better. I hate random bouts of nausea. The ramp dishes look great … where do you get them? Do you have to get them at the grocery or can I forage them?

  5. Ksenia Said,

    May 14, 2010 @ 1:31 am

    I hope you feel better now 🙁 The last time I had so much nauseas was when I caught the intestinal flu…horrible! And I was very relieved too when I was hungry and able to eat again.

    I’ve never seen ramps here. I even didn’t know how they are called in Spanish, so I googled it and they’re “puerros salvajes” (wild leeks?) or “rampas”.

    And thanks 🙂 Now I have to do the last effort for the entrance exams, and it will be all over 😀 (well, I’ll have to spend the summer studying English, but I don’t count it as work. And maths, which counts as a lot of work, so it compensate the English part :P)

    You’re right: being too nervous during an exam is the worse you can do. Maths exams scared me stiff, so my results were always terribe T.T

  6. Renee Said,

    May 14, 2010 @ 7:05 am

    When I taught school in the mountains of N.C., we would send kids home for eating raw ramps. They smell really, really BAD post-consumption!! Glad you are feeling better!

  7. Tori Said,

    May 14, 2010 @ 8:14 am

    Mmmmm I have never had ramps before! They look good.

    Also I had a very strange week long bout of nausea before too. I just woke up one monday and was nauseas to the point that I could barely get out of bed for a week. The only thing I ate for 5 days was toast.

  8. becky Said,

    May 14, 2010 @ 4:46 pm

    Hi! I’m glad you’re feeling better. That pasta looks very good. I’ve never heard of ramps. I don’t know if they have them in California. Thank you for your lovely posts.

  9. Maria Said,

    May 14, 2010 @ 5:46 pm

    I’d never heard of ramps, and figured they must be some strange American invention (I’m in the UK). But then I remembered that we *do* have a native plant called ‘ramsons’, and wondered if it was the same thing. A quick Google later, I can tell you that yes, the US ‘ramps’ and UK ‘ramsons’ are one and the same. But I’ve never cooked with ransoms – and am very envious that you have!

  10. Courtney Said,

    May 14, 2010 @ 6:28 pm

    I am so sorry you were not feeling well, but I am happy to hear you are feeling better. Being sick is no fun!

    I love ramps–one of the best things about spring 🙂 Your pasta dish looks great!


  11. mangocheeks Said,

    May 15, 2010 @ 10:42 am

    I found a load of wild garlic also known as ramp where I live in the West of Scotland and have been enjoying it a variety of ways, inc pasta. Your ramps look slightly dif to mine, the stems are purple, whereas mine where white. Anyway, still delicious.

  12. Mo Said,

    May 17, 2010 @ 8:39 pm

    Glad you’re feeling better! The pasta and soup look great!

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