Rach makes a pasta primavera that's packed with sweet spring veggies like zucchini, asparagus and peas.
"If you can't find ramps, you can use any green onion," Rach says. "So leeks are perfect for this, no problem, and scallions are fine too or spring onions of any kind."
Rach likes to pair her spring pasta with her husband John's refreshing Aperol Spritz.
- 1 ½ cups vegetable or chicken stock
- ¼ teaspoon saffron threads (a fat pinch)
- About 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 small zucchini, diced ¼-inch-thick (1½ to 2 cups, ¾ pound)
- ¼ pound ramps (10 to 12), whites finely chopped and greens cut 1 inch (OR 2 thin leeks, whites and light greens halved lengthwise and thinly sliced)
- ½ pound asparagus, trimmed and thinly sliced on bias
- Salt and pepper
- 1 cup fresh peas or defrosted frozen
- 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
- ½ cup white wine, optional
- ¾ cup half-and-half
- Chopped tarragon, torn basil or parsley and chives
- 1 pound tagliatelle or other egg pasta
- 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Bring a pot of water to a boil for pasta.
Place stock and saffron in small pot and reduce at a simmer by half, allowing the saffron to bloom and the stock to concentrate its flavor.
Heat a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat, add oil, 3 turns of the pan, then add zucchini, ramp whites or leeks, and asparagus, cook a few minutes to tender-crisp, season with salt stir in peas, then grate in garlic. Add white wine if using and reduce until almost absorbed. Add saffron stock and reduce a bit, then add half-and-half and let simmer at low bubble. Stir in ramp greens and herbs.
Salt pasta water and cook pasta 1 minute less than package directions, reserve ½ cup starchy water, and drain. Add pasta to vegetables and sauce, toss, then add about 1 cup grated cheese and toss, adding a little starchy water if necessary. Serve in shallow bowls.