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Playing Rachael's Creamy Ramp Pesto Fusilli Lunghi

Rach kicks up the flavor on pasta with pesto by using ramps for a fresh seasonal hit of flavor.
 

Ingredients
  • ½ pound ramps, cleaned and trimmed of root, separate bulbs and stems from leaves (if ramps are out of season, use a combination of basil, parsley, mint, garlic and chives)
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • ¼ cup shelled pistachios or hazelnuts, toasted
  • ¼ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (a handful)
  • About ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • ¾ cup or 6 ounces Bufala ricotta or fresh cow’s milk ricotta
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 pound long fusilli or spaghetti
  • Ground pink peppercorn, to serve
Preparation

Bring a large pot of water to a boil for pasta.

Blanch the ramp tops in boiling water, 15-20 seconds, then cold shock and dry. Tops should be bright and vibrant green in color. Coarsely chop tops.


Add ramp bulbs, stems and blanched tops to food processor with lemon zest and juice, pistachios or hazelnuts, and cheese. Pulse to finely chop, stream in the EVOO, then add ricotta and salt, process to almost smooth and adjust salt to taste. Transfer to a large bowl.

Salt pasta water and cook pasta 1 minute less than package directions for al dente. Add about 1 cup pasta cooking water to sauce in bowl, add pasta and toss to coat. Top pasta with pink pepper and serve; pass additional freshly grated cheese.