Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Deliciously Easy Ramp Carbonara Recipe: A Seasonal Twist on a Classic Favorite

 Spring has spring here in West Virginia and that means one thing...RAMP SEASON!  You see, Appalachian cuisine is traditionally simple.  It's comprised mostly of what people grow, hunt, and forage.  I can remember countess hours spent in the woods with my grandpa foraging mushrooms, berries, and of course, ramps.  I love ramps!  Something else I love is Italian food.  You wouldn't believe this, but there is massive Italian community in our state.  Seriously.  We have festivals and everything.  So today I thought I would combine two of my favorite things about my home state and create for you this DELICIOUS Easy Ramp Carbonara Recipe!  


A white plate piled high with the ramp carbonara.


Creamy, smokey, savory, with a little spice to it, this Easy Ramp Carbonara is a dish that everyone in your family is going to love!  I am so excited to share a little piece of my beloved West Virginia with you so...

Let's Get Started! 



HERE IS WHAT YOU WILL NEED:

  • 1 lb. of Linguine Pasta
  • 1 lb. of Ramps
  • 8 strips of Bacon, cut into pieces
  • 1 c. Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • ½ tsp. Chili Flake (optional)
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. Pepper

WHAT IS A RAMP:

Before we really dive into this recipe, I guess I should explain what a ramp is, and why it is delicious!  


wild ramps



I could give you the fancy Wikipedia answer to this questions, but we West Virginians are simple people, so let me keep it short.  A ramp is basically a wild onion that has a garlicky flavor to it.  They are so abundant here in West Virginia that most of us only need to venture out in the back yard to harvest them.  They are delicious and will add a TON of flavor to ANY dish.  Growing up we ate them in fried potatoes, in green beans, saut├ęd on their own, heck as a kid I would pull em up out the ground, wash em off in the crick, and eat em straight from the earth!  


Over the years Ramps have actually become a trendy artisan ingredient, and I have heard of people paying OBSCENE amounts of money for them.  People make butters, oils, salts, etc.  They are so versatile and that's why people love them.  


WHERE CAN I FIND RAMPS:

This time of year you can easily find them growing in the wild, but if that isn't an option, you can usually find ramps at any local farmer's market.  


HOW DO I STORE THE RAMPS?


Chopped ramps on the counter.

Ramps can be a little delicate, so don't just throw them into the fridge when you get home.  You will want to wrap the unwashed ramps in a damp paper towel and place them in a resealable plastic bag.  



HOW TO CLEAN THEM:




Ramps are DIRTY!  Like dirtier than leeks so you will want to first give them a good soak.  Let as much dirt fall to the bottom of the bowl as possible.  Then you will want to rinse them throughly after that.  Then pat them dry and you are ready to go!  



IF I CAN'T FIND RAMPS, WHAT CAN I USE IN PLACE OF THEM?

If you are unable to find ramps in your area you can totally use scallions of leeks in place of them.  I would just add more garlic.  :) 



CAN THIS BE MADE PLANT BASED?

Because I have chosen to make this an egg-free carbonara, the answer is yes.  Simply leave out the bacon and add a couple dashes of smoked paprika or liquid smoke, and use plant-based parmesan cheese.  



Okay, I feel like I've answered all the questions you may have, so let's get to the recipe!  


A white plate of easy ramp carbonara.




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