This is a recipe I came up with you to use my beloved ramps – their flavor really, really, really comes through in this dish…but don’t worry, you don’t need ramps to make it! You can use leeks or scallions or even a regular old onions in place of the ramps. My first choice would be a mix of leeks and scallions – this would give you a taste closest to the ramps, but let’s face it: pasta with sausage and onions is going to be down-right tasty, too – so don’t hold back. Try this one with whatever you’ve got!
If you’re using onions, use 1-2 medium white or yellow, sliced into strips and add in with the carrots. If using leeks, using 1 large or 2 medium, using only the white and pale green parts, sliced and add in with the carrots. if using scallions, use one bunch and separate the white and green parts. Slice them both, add the white part in with the carrots, add the green part in with the cooked sausage at the end.
This is a very flavorful, yet light pasta dish. There is only two links of sausage in it and loads of vegetables in relation to the half pound of pasta. And using the broth and romano to create a slightly viscous sauce, not only helps keep the flavor of the ramps and sausage come through (more so than say a cream or tomato-based sauce),, but also helps keep this dish firmly in the ‘you can eat healthy but still enjoy pasta – and sausage for that matter!’ realm. And I truly love that!*smile*
So go ahead, dish yourself up some of this delicious pasta, be it ramp season or the dead of winter. If you’re anything like me, it will be one of the healthiest, tastiest and most satisfying meals you make that week!
Spicy Fusilli Primavera with Ramps and Sausage
2 Links Hot Italian Sausage, removed from casings and broken up into small pieces
3 cups Cauliflower, broken up into tiny florettes
1 cup Celery, sliced thinly
1 cup Carrots, sliced thinly
1 1/4 cups Chicken Broth
1 bunch Ramps, cleaned separated into stems and leaves and sliced
1/2 lb small Fusili pasta
pinch of Red Pepper Flakes
1/4 cup grated Romano Cheese
Set a pot of water to boil.
Put a large skillet (with cover, you’ll need it later), spritz with cooking spray and brown the sausage nuggets over medium heat.
Once the sausage is cooked through and browned, remove to a bowl and reserve.
Saute the cauliflower and celery in the sausage drippings – still over medium heat – for about 5 minutes. Then add the sliced carrots and ramp bottoms (the white and pink stems of the ramps, sliced into 1/4 inch pieces). Season with Garlic Salt and Pepper and cook for another 2-3 minutes stirring often.
Add the chicken broth, place the cover on the skillet (and if you don’t have a cover for the pan, cover the skillet with foil) – and bring to a boil over high heat, then turn the heat down to medium and keep at a firm simmer, until the vegetables are *just* cooked through. Turn down the heat to low, add the sausage and ramp leaves (sliced into 1 inch pieces) and heat though. Stir in the romano cheese and red pepper flakes.
Once the pasta is cooked just 1-2 minutes short of ‘al dente’, drain and add to the skillet – and cook for another minute or two until it all comes together.
Serve and sprinkle with more cheese if desired.
This served 2 for us – but it was all we ate. If you served a first course, it would serve 3.
This was *so* *damn* *good*, as soon as we finished dinner, I said “That was so good, I would make a whole nother batch and eat it all over again *right* *now*.” And though I didn’t do that, I *did* make it again the next day and we ate it all up – once again!