Thursday, May 3, 2012


Growing up in my house especially in the summer pesto was always a favorite.  Most of the time it was the traditional genovese style with basil, garlic and pine nuts.

Ramp greens are just as flavorful as the bulbs so there is no reason to waste them.  Simple saute: garlic oil pancetta, or garlic oil anchovies but I'm doing a pesto with sage, parsley and toasted almonds.

  • 3 large bunches of fresh ramp tops
  • 2/3 cup of almond slivers (toasted)
  • 1 buch of fresh parsley with the stems
  • 10-20 sage leaves ( depends how sagey you want it)
  • 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup grated hard Pecorino 
Blanch ramps, parsley, and sage in salted boiling water for 2-3 min then shock in an ice bath.  add to a food processor with almonds and pulse.  Stream in EVOO until all ingredients are incorporated but not completely smooth.  If you have any balls you will grind all of this in a giant mortar and pestle.  Salt to taste.  Now this can be spread on toasted crusty bread topped with burrata, tomatoes, you can dress  pasta with it, put it in pasta like a ravioli or tortellini.  The flavor is like nothing else you can get at the market.

Ahhh Italian comfort food but with a North American twist. Italian food is all about getting the FRESHEST ingredients from dirt to table in the shortest amount of time no matter what part of the world your in.  On Long Island we have Ramps baby.  This is a great quality Rigatoni Napolitana dressed with the ramp pesto,  home made peperoncino and some ridiculous olive oil my family brought back from Puglia.  Dusted with Pecorino Crotonese from my father in law's town in Calabria and boom...spring and passion in a bowl.  

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