Easy Ramp Pasta

Easy Ramp Pasta Recipe

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Ramp season is here! If you have a bundle of these beautiful wild alliums, this easy ramp pasta is a great way to learn how to use them.

what are ramps

What are ramps?

Every year, there is a moment that is the clear and definitive end of winter. For me, it’s when I wake up, the air feels warm, and I go to the farmer’s market and see stalls suddenly filled to the brim with lush, green offerings of the new harvest. When I see beautiful stem-on strawberries, delicate asparagus stalks, and ramps, I know that spring has officially sprung.

Ramps–also known as wild leeks–have a very short season in the spring. They grow primarily in moist deciduous forests or in the rich, fertile soil of river banks where they have to be picked by hand. They’re prized for their sharp, garlicky flavor and can take on a particularly complex, subtle sweetness when grilled or charred.

Over-harvesting ramps

My Dad’s side of the family is from West Virginia, where ramps are a way of life. Lately, I’ve developed some emotions around picking and foraging ramps. In the past, I have even traveled to West Virginia to buy ramps, thinking this was a kinder approach instead of foraging them myself.

However, I’ve been hearing about greedy foragers who clean out local communities and take the ramps to resell for a much higher price elsewhere. There are also foragers who pick ramps incorrectly, by pulling up the entire root. Over-harvesting leads to a decimation of the local ramp populations.

My Dad grew up in West Virginia and said the number one rule of ramp picking is always leaving some behind. Unfortunately, because ramps have exploded in popularity and price, foragers may not always follow this golden rule. Gosh, I even remember back in 2020 when folks were charging nearly $20 for 4 or 5 ramps at the farmer’s market! At any rate, I’ve stopped actively seeking them out. If ramps find their way to me, I will certainly enjoy them and cook with them, but I don’t go hunting for them anymore.

That said, if you decide to buy or forage ramps, I am not judging you at all. They are absolutely delicious, and I think everyone should enjoy a ramp recipe in their life. I think the key is to just be mindful of your source. If you’re buying them from a farmer’s market, maybe consider asking a little bit about how they forage.

My family in West Virginia gifted me these ramps. I am so happy to be able to cook with this harvest and even share them with my friends to spread the ramp love.

Ramp substitutes

Don’t have ramps? No problem. Fortunately, you can mix and match depending on your preferences because they are in the allium family. Here are my substitution recommendations for this recipe:

  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1 ounce fresh chives, minced and added at the very end of the recipe
  • 1 leek, white and light green parts only; thinly sliced
  • 5 scallions, minced; keep white and green parts separate the same as in the recipe
  • 1 green garlic stalk; keep white and green parts separate the same as in the recipe
  • 2 garlic scapes, minced; added in at the very beginning of the recipe with the onion

You have plenty of options here! Whether ramps aren’t in season or you simply don’t have them, this easy veggie pasta recipe is one you’ll want to have on rotation.

ramp pasta

How to make easy ramp pasta:

You don’t need many ingredients for this recipe, and it’s chock full of good stuff like cherry tomatoes, zucchini, and chickpeas. I really let the ramps sing here, so I didn’t add too many other competing flavors.

whole grain angel hair pasta

What you need

  • Ramps: If you don’t have them, follow my substitution recommendations above.
  • Parsley and lemon juice: These add a nice herby brightness to accentuate the ramps.
  • Onion, zucchini, and cherry tomatoes: This is the veggie base of the sauce. You can get creative depending on what you have. You can use diced eggplant instead of zucchini or add chopped asparagus at the very end of cooking. Fresh-shelled peas or baby spinach would be delicious added at the very end.
  • Sun-dried tomatoes: I add sun-dried tomatoes to accentuate the cherry tomatoes. I like the tangy, savory flavor they bring to this sauce.
  • Pasta: I love angel hair pasta for spring pasta dishes; it just works really well. I use whole-wheat pasta, but your favorite pasta works here. My favorite brand of whole-wheat pasta is DeLallo; I find it doesn’t have a bitter aftertaste as some wheat pasta does.

How to make it

  • Step 1: It starts with the ramps. Like scallions, you’ll first separate the green parts from the white root ends. First, mince the white and pink roots. Next, roughly chop the leafy greens. Then, you’ll mix the leafy greens with parsley and lemon juice. I just like to let the ramps mingle in lemon juice as I prepare the rest of the dish. It gives them a subtle, pickly flavor.
  • Step 2: From there, make the sauce. Simply sauté the vegetables in layers, starting with the onion, white parts of the ramps, zucchini, and then cherry tomatoes. Finish by adding chickpeas and sun-dried tomatoes. I add a bit of red pepper flakes, but that is optional.
  • Step 3: From there, add a little vegetable stock to the sauce. Simmer for 20–30 minutes uncovered to let the sauce reduce. Mash a few of the cherry tomatoes as they cook.
  • Step 4: Once the sauce has cooked down, add the ramps, parsley, and lemon juice.
  • Step 5: Finish it up! Now, add the cooked pasta and toss to combine everything.
ramp recipes

From there, you’re ready to serve it up! Simply transfer the cooked ramp pasta to a large serving platter, and then you’re ready to dig in. A little bit of plant-based or dairy Parmesan cheese grated on top would be divine as well.

ramp pasta recipe

I absolutely loved this ramp pasta recipe, and I hope you do too. If you make it, please rate the recipe and add a comment below. I’d love to hear from you.

ramp pasta recipe

Easy Ramp Pasta

f you have a bundle of these beautiful wild alliums, this easy ramp pasta is a great way to learn how to use them.
5 from 1 vote
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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Inactive time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 403kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

For serving, optional:

  • Finely grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

Prepare the ramps:

  • Thoroughly clean the ramps. Cut off the very end of the root. Cut the white and pink parts from leafy greens and set aside. Roughly chop the leafy green part of the ramps and transfer to a bowl. Finely mince the white and pink root ends.
  • To the bowl of leafy ramp greens, add the parsley and lemon juice. Toss to combine and set aside.

Start the sauce:

  • Heat 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil in a wide pot over medium heat. Once hot, add the minced white parts of the ramps along with the onion. Sauté for 5 minutes until the onion becomes translucent. Add a pinch of salt.
  • Add the zucchini and sauté for 5 minutes. Season well with salt.
  • Add the cherry tomatoes, chickpeas, sun-dried tomatoes, and crushed red pepper to taste. Toss to combine and cook for 5–6 minutes until the tomato skins begin to split. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Pour in the water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20–30 minutes until the tomatoes break down and the liquid reduces. Mash a few of the tomatoes periodically as the sauce simmers. Taste and add salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper.

Cook the pasta:

  • Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions. Reserve ¼ cup of the pasta water and then drain the pasta.

Finish the pasta:

  • Taste the sauce once more and season. Add the ramp and parsley mixture and toss to incorporate into the sauce. As soon as the ramp greens wilt, add the cooked pasta and toss to coat, adding pasta water if needed. Turn off the heat.

To serve:

  • Transfer the pasta to a large serving platter. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese if desired. Enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 403kcal | Carbohydrates: 80g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 5g | Sodium: 33mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin C: 44mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @triedandtruerecipes or tag #triedandtruerecipes so I can feature you in my feed!


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