Orecchiette with Spicy Sausage and Ramps

By • May 7, 2012 • 5 Comments

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Author Notes: A simple spring dish, whipped together in half an hour, this pasta gets a meaty kick from the sausage, and a mellow sweetness from sauteed ramps. Feel free to use young leeks if you can't find ramps.Merrill Stubbs

Serves 8

  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds hot Italian sausage, bulk or removed from casings
  • 1/2 pound ramps (you can use young leeks if you don't have access to ramps), cleaned and trimmed of roots
  • 1 pound orecchiette or other short pasta
  1. Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage and brown for about 5 minutes, breaking it up with a spoon as it cooks.
  2. Meanwhile, slice the bulb end (white parts) of the ramps finely and roughly chop the leaves, keeping the two separate. Add the bulbs to the pan and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 to 3 minutes, until they soften and start to brown. Add the leaves and cook for another minute, until just wilted. Turn off the heat and set aside (you can hold this for up to an hour, reheating before you add the pasta).
  3. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until just al dente, following the package directions. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water and drain the pasta well. Add it to the sausage and ramps over medium heat. Stir through, adding some of the cooking liquid if the pasta looks dry. Serve immediately.
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19 days ago Jo-Anne

How much kosher salt should be added to the boiling water for the pasta? I am lucky...I made the acquaintance of a garlic farmer a couple of years ago so I am able to get the ramps and the garlic when they are in season. I also make sure to round up people I know will be happy buy directly from him. Win Win. :)

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19 days ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Our rule of thumb for salting pasta water is add enough so that the water tastes like the sea.

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11 months ago Better Than Mom's

I finally found ramps in my grocery store of all places ( even though we have an absolutely incredible farmers market), had to make this because I love oricchiette. I added a touch of cream, chopped tomato and white wine- because it was in the frig. So simple, so incredibly delicious. Thank you.
By the way, the pickled ramps ( by Amanda) are wonderful.

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almost 3 years ago Peter

While Peter no longer works for Food52 he still thinks up ways to make the website better.

While I love recipes that give me ideas on how to use ramps, it also makes me sad when I see a recipe that sounds delicious but ramps -- damned their fickle, fleeting season -- are long gone from the farmer's markets!

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almost 3 years ago eisenstar

Hi, Merrill. Thanx for suggesting substituting young leeks, if ramps aren't available. I'm dieing to make this dish. Will try my local Farmers Market, this weekend, before I give up my search for ramps!