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Cookbook author and lifestyle expert David Burka makes a quick and easy pesto pasta using the ultimate spring find—fresh, garlicky ramps.
David's Pro Tip: Freeze any leftover ramp pesto for later use.
- ½ pound pasta
- 2 cups ramp stems
- 2 to 3 cups packed basil
- 4 to 5 cloves roasted garlic , or 1 raw clove garlic
- 3 tablespoons roasted or toasted nuts
- 1 to 2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 1 small chunk parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese, broken up
- Chili flakes, to taste
- Lemon juice, to taste
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package directions until just al dente.
While the pasta is cooking, in a food processor, combine ramps, basil, garlic, and nuts. Pulse to combine. With the machine on, slowly add ½ to ¾ cup oil until it all comes together. Season to taste with salt and pepper. With the machine on, add more oil until the pesto reaches a loose, saucy consistency. Add the cheese and pulse to combine.
Reserve ½ to 1 cup pasta cooking water, then drain pasta. Return pasta to pot with pesto to taste, adding reserved pasta cooking water to loosen as needed, and stir to combine. Season with chili flakes and/or lemon juice to taste.