Ramps, the ephemeral wild onions that chefs love and which appear only in the spring, give this pasta a lovely garlic flavor. When ramps aren’t in season, Justin Smillie uses elephant garlic—the bulb, stem and flowers. Scallions also make a good substitute.
Slideshow:More Amazing Spring Pastas
Recipe from Food & Wine America's Greatest New Cooks
1 pound spaghetti
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 pound ramps or medium scallions, thinly sliced
Freshly ground pepper
2 or 3 Thai chiles, thinly sliced
2 dried red chiles such as Calabrian, crumbled
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving
How to Make It
In a large saucepan of salted boiling water, cook the spaghetti until al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt the butter in the olive oil. Add the ramps and a generous pinch each of salt and pepper and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until just wilted, about 3 minutes. Add the fresh and dried chiles and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the lemon juice and the 1/4 cup each of pecorino and Parmigiano cheese.
Add the spaghetti to the skillet along with the reserved cooking water and cook over moderately low heat, tossing, until the spaghetti is thoroughly coated, 3 to 5 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Transfer to shallow bowls and serve right away, passing additional Parmigiano at the table.
Zesty, full-bodied Sicilian white.
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