A delicious and easy way to spotlight Ramps, or Wild Leeks, available for a very short period in early spring. A relative of the onion, Ramps grow wild across the US, especially in the Appalachian region. In flavor, they are pungent and garlicky with both edible leaves and bulbs. This recipe lets them shine, while thyme scented breadcrumbs and a poached egg add texture and richness. It really is heavenly. Enjoy! —Neurotic Kitchenista
Pangrattato (Toasted Breadcrumbs) with Thyme - adapted from Jamie Oliver
Grated Breadcrumbs or Unseasoned Canned Breadcrumbs
Fresh Thyme Leaves, chopped
Spaghetti with Ramps, Pangratto and Poached Egg - Adapted from Mario Batali
Ramps, white bulb ends cut off and green leaves cut in half or thirds & set aside
Pangrattato with Thyme
Farm Fresh Organic Eggs
Red Chili Flakes (less if you like it not so spicy)
First, prepare Pangrattato. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat.
Stir in breadcrumbs and thyme. Fry for about 3 minutes, stirring often, until golden brown. Set aside.
Boil Water in a large pasta pot and add 2 Tablespoons of Salt.
Cook Spaghetti according to package directions.
While pasta is in the water cooking, heat Oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
Meanwhile put water in another high sided frying pan and bring to a slow boil ( for the poached eggs)
Next, Add the white root ends of the ramps to the skillet and saute until tender.
Add a bit of salt and chili flakes. Add the ramp greens and sauté until totally wilted - at least 5 minutes. Test the ramps by tasting. They can vary between tougher or more tender. If they are on the chewier side you can continue to cook.
Once pasta is done, drain and add it to the skillet with the ramps. Reserve a half cup of pasta water in case you need to loosen the pasta later.Toss pasta with ramps to coat and turn heat down to the very lowest flame. Taste for seasoning and add extra Salt and Pepper if needed.
Pop your eggs into the slow boiling water and poach (adding a drop of vinegar to the water will help keep the eggs intact). Yolks should remain very soft.
To plate: Divide pasta among serving bowls, top with breadcrumbs, and carefully slide the poached egg onto the top of each bowl using a slotted spoon.
Serve right away.