This ramp pasta uses spaghettini, takes less than 10 minutes to make and screams spring is finally here!
Foraging for ramps is one of my favourite times of the year because it signals the beginning of spring. Also known as wild leeks, wild spring onions, ramson or wood leeks, they only grow for a few weeks in Canada and the northern United States.
I love that ramps are one of the few things in life that are still seasonal – and not like strawberries (with their flavourless white interiors) that we can get all year round.
Ramps are so popular that in some US States and Quebec, it’s illegal to forage for them because they’re over picked by professional foragers. In Ontario there is a movement to be more responsible and not over pick.
MUST READ: Spring Guide to Foraging Edible Plants
In fact, no one will tell you where to find them. You have to find them yourself in heavily wooded, damp areas. I have been lucky over the years to know someone who has private land where no one actively forages.
There’s something really special about foraging for ingredients and then reaping the benefits. It was one of the things that I loved sharing when I had the restaurant. And it’s also what I miss now that I’m not spending spring in Canada.
But it’s the most satisfying when I finally taste what I harvested. Ramps have such a delicate but powerful flavour and that first taste is so special, which is one of the reasons why I love ramp pasta.
Cleaning Ramps Can Be Tedious
The work doesn’t end in the forest. When you get home they must be thoroughly cleaned as mud loves to lurk. The leaves are delicate it’s best to soak ramps in water to remove the mud.
If you can’t make it out to a forest ramps are often available at farmers’ markets by either a forager or farmer’s also may be growing them. However, as they are in high demand it’s best to ask. Many times ramps are on the table and instead stowed away for those who know just how special they are.
In Toronto markets Forbes Wild Foods is a great resource as they are ethical foragers and also spread wild leek seeds to help replenish the population.
In previous years I’ve shared recipes for pickled ramps, beer battered ramps, ramp kimchi, charred ramp pesto. This year the first taste was simple and so easy to cook – ramp pasta using delicate spaghettini.
Today I’m featuring Catelli Ancient Grains spaghettini. It’s made with 100% whole grain blend of Canadian wheat and five ancient grains -quinoa, amaranth, teff, sorghum and millet. It’s heartier with 8g of fiber, 25% of the daily iron intake and 12g of protein.
You can make this ramp pasta vegetarian by omitting the prosciutto. But I love how the saltiness of the cheese and prosciutto play off the ramp pasta. I want lighter food, which is why I often chose spaghettini. But the weather can also be cold and damp and the cheese and prosciutto just feel comforting.
Ramp Pasta With Prosciutto and Parmesan
If you love foraged recipes also check out:
If you’re looking for good cookbooks for foraged ingredients also check out.
Acorns & Cattails: A Modern Foraging Cookbook of Forest, Farm & Field
The Field to Table Cookbook: Gardening, Foraging, Fishing, & Hunting
The New Wildcrafted Cuisine: Exploring the Exotic Gastronomy of Local Terroir
Disclosure: This ramp pasta post is part of a four part paid recipe series in partnership with Catelli Pasta. I originally wrote this two years ago but wanted to share it again. It’s a great ramp pasta recipe and although I’m no longer working with Catelli I still consider it a great Canadian brand.