Sunday, April 15, 2012

Weeknight lovin' pt. 1

Some nights you just want a quickie...

As I'm adjusting to my new work schedule, I'm finding that I've lost my taste for the long and labourious week night meal.  Monday through Friday, I want it fast and hot- but still delicious and creative.

These two things are not mutually exclusive, or so I've found.  This week I'll be sharing a few of my (relatively) fast weeknight meals that fulfill all four criteria.

First up (pictured above) is Ramps spaghetti.


At this point you may be asking yourself "what the fuck is a ramp?"  That was a question I found myself asking about this time last year while looking at seasonal produce online.  (Yeah, I know I'm a food nerd.)

Ramps, otherwise known as wild leeks,  grow for a ridiculously short period of time in the early spring.  They are likened as a cross between garlic and green onions, and are known to drive the food obsessed into some kind of spring frenzy where they are willing to pay upwards of $16lb to get a taste of what pretty much boils down to weeds some guy pulled from his yard...  Excuse me, I mean foraged....

Seriously though, I heard about them, and I knew I had to at least have a taste.  I searched far and wide last spring, but alas was unable to find them in my local market.

Since I now live in The Big CityTM, I was able to find them at my local farmers market.  The verdict?

They are delicious, and are a truely unique ingredient.  I found them to have a rather delicate, almost sweet, flavor (although they are described by some as footy).

 Since their season is so short, you can only have them once or twice a year- so I say have a little splurge!  You only need a quarter lb or so for this recipe, which by the way, is ridiculously rewarding for the required effort to make this sunshiny little number.

Ramps Spaghetti (with lemon and Pecorino)

This recipe takes about 20 minutes including the time it takes to bring a pot of water to a boil.  It's fast and easy, but I find the ramps make it feel extra special.  Serves 2.


2 tsp olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
4 ounces ramps, greens roughly chopped, whites finely chopped
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 ounce Pecorino Romano, grated
6 ounces whole wheat spaghetti
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper


1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Salt the water and add the pasta.
2.  In a large saute pan heat the olive oil and add the minced garlic and cook for a minute or two until fragrant.  Add the whites of the ramps and cook another minute or so, sprinkling with salt and pepper.
3.  Add the greens of the ramps and cook 2-3 minutes until slightly wilted.  By now your pasta should be  slightly crunchier than al dente.  Bring the pasta from the pot directly into the pan, and add a tablespoon or so of water. 
4.  Pour in the lemon juice and toss the pasta.  Sprinkle in about 3/4 of the pasta and toss to combine.  Serve sprinkled with a little more cheese.  

Tune in tomorrow for more weeknight lovin pt. 2!


  1. now that you're employed, $4 for weeds is ok?

    1. yes. also, if I recall, I used to pay a lot mre than that...


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