Ramp pasta that's light, flavorful and perfect for Spring. This simple pasta is made with lots of butter, freshly grated parmesan cheese and fresh wild onions for incredible flavor. Simple Buttery Parmesan Ramp Pasta comes together in just 25 minutes and would be great as a main dish or side dish.
Over the weekend, I harvested so many ramps, and I am so happy about it! I was in Wisconsin visiting my family and the woods at the farm is over flowing with ramps. Like thousands of them! I feel so lucky that we have access to such a large abundance of beautiful, delicious wild onions.
The best part about ramp picking? Being out in nature with my loved ones. There's just something about it that's so peaceful.
Once we harvested the ramps, my mind immediately went to work thinking up ways to use them. I came up with two recipes that I knew I wanted to share with you!
First, this Simple Buttery Parmesan Ramp pasta, of course. I wanted it to closely resemble Cacio e Pepe pasta because I love the simplicity of it, and I wanted the ramps to be the star of the dish.
Second, make ramp butter! The ramp butter would be amazing on chicken, steak, vegetables, potatoes, and really any food that goes great with onion or garlic... which is a long list. I also plan to freeze some ramp butter because it'll a great way to preserve it for a long period of time so I can enjoy ramps even when they're out of season.
What are Ramps? Where do Ramps Grow?
Ramps grow for only a few short weeks during the Spring in shaded areas of the woods. Ramps are also commonly referred to as wild onions, wild leeks, or wild garlic. They have a flavor that is like a combination of onion and garlic. They're great for cooking with or eating raw!
My family loves to soak the bulbs in a jar with vinegar, then eat them raw with a sprinkle of salt. It's almost like quick pickling.
The best part about ramps is that the entire plant is edible and has the same garlicky onion flavor. You can eat the bulb, stem and leaves!
Where can you buy Ramps?
If you aren't able to harvest your own ramps, often times you can find ramps at Whole Foods or your local farmers market.
How to Clean Ramps.
When cleaning ramps, please keep in mind that the bulbs, stems and the leaves are all edible!!
To clean the ramps, I like to fill my sink full of cold water, then toss in all of the ramps.
Working with one ramp at a time, you’ll first remove the translucent skin that cover the bulbs – this step will also take most the dirt with it. While holding the stem of the ramp with one hand, use your other hand to grab the ramp at the top of the bulb and pull down toward the root peeling back the skin.
Next, cut off and discard the skin and the root by cutting at the very bottom of the bulb. Check the ramp for any bad spots on the leaves, cutting off and discarding those pieces off, as well.
Give the trimmed ramp one last rinse under clean water and you’re good to go!
How to Make Ramp Pasta.
This Simple Ramp Pasta is so easy to make and you only need a handful of ingredients!
- Bucatini pasta or thick spaghetti
- Salted butter
- Lots of ramps!
- Parmesan and/or Romano cheese - grating your own is best!
- Salt & pepper - freshly cracked pepper is the best in this pasta!
How to Preserve Ramps.
- Ramp butter! Ramp butter will last for one week in the fridge and at least a few months in the freezer. Here is my recipe for Delicious Ramp Butter.
- Quick pickled ramps. For this preservation method I only use the stems and the bulbs. To make quick pickled ramps, I cut off the leaves (saving them for another use), leaving the bulb and stem intact. I add them to a jar and cover the ramps with the same quick pickling brine that I use for my Easy Quick Pickled Onions. Let sit at least a few hours or overnight before eating. Stored in the refrigerator, the quick pickled ramps should last for a few months.
- Freeze ramps. To freeze ramps, thinly slice the bulbs and the stems. To freeze the leaves, I recommend first roughly chopping the leaves then adding them to a pot of boiling water for about 15 seconds to quickly blanch the leaves. This prevents them from turning brown in the freezer. Once the leaves are blanched, strain them from the boiling water and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process. Squeeze out the excess water or pat the leaves dry. Before adding the ramps to a freezer bag, I recommend laying the bulbs, stems and leaves out on a parchment lined baking sheet and placing that in the freezer for about 1 hour. This prevents the ramps from all freezing together in one ball. This way you can take as many or as little amount of ramps from the freezer when needed.
Tips & Substitutions.
Use lots of ramps! The recipe calls for about 8-12 ramps, but if you have more, toss them in! Once ramps cook, they're flavor mellows out a bit, so don't hesitate to use more if you would like.
Freshly grated cheese is best. I recommend buying a block of parmesan and/or romano cheese and grating it yourself. The flavor is better and it melts easier. Use the small holes on your box grater or even the zester on your box grater if you have the time. The finer the cheese, the easier it will melt.
Can I just use parmesan cheese? Most certainly! They're very similar. Romano just has a slightly stronger and saltier flavor compared to parmesan.
What is bucatini pasta? It's a thick spaghetti-like pasta with a hole running through the center, allowing the sauce to seep inside. If you can't find bucatini pasta, you can use thick or regular spaghetti noodles!
Try my Delicious Ramp Butter! It's a great way to preserve ramps past their season!
If you make this recipe, I would love to hear from you! Please rate the recipe below using the stars or leave a comment. If you’re on Instagram, share a picture of the food you created and tag me at Modern Farmhouse Eats! I love seeing all the pictures! 😊
Simple Buttery Parmesan Ramp Pasta
- 8-12 ramps
- 8 ounces bucatini pasta or thick spaghetti
- 4 tablespoons salted butter
- 1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
- ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- ½ cup freshly grated romano cheese (or more parmesan)
- salt to taste
- Trim the roots off the ramps and discard. Thinly slice the bulbs and stem. Set aside. Roughly chop the ramp leaves and set aside, keeping the leaves seperate from the bulbs and stems. This recipe comes together fast, so have you cheese shredded and ready to go.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil, then add a couple large pinches of salt and the pasta. Cook until al dente. Reserve 1 ½ cups of pasta water.
- Once the pasta is about 4-5 minutes from al dente, heat a large skillet over medium heat with 2 tablespoons of butter and the thinly sliced ramp bulbs and stems. Cook for about 3 minutes, until the onions slightly softened. Add the cracked pepper and cook for another 30 seconds. Add 1 cup of pasta water and whisk together.
- Using tongs, transfer the pasta to the skillet and toss together. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and the cheese and toss until well combined. Add in the ramp leaves and toss. Add more pasta water if needed to thin out the sauce. If desired, add salt to taste.
- Serve with more freshly grated cheese and black pepepr.