Orecchiette with ramps and fiddleheads

Orecchiette with ramps and fiddleheads

Having brought home quite a haul from our little foraging expedition, my head was abuzz with all the possibilities. While foraging I was worried I might not be able to use everything we’d picked. By the time I was done with this meal, I realized I should have gotten more.

This simple pasta dish just tastes like spring. Lightly sauteed, the ramps are sweet with a mild garlicy flavor that goes really well with the smokey bacon. The fiddleheads don’t have a ton of their own flavor but they’re slightly sweet and add a nice texture to the dish. If you want to make this vegetarian, just omit the bacon and use a tablespoon of olive oil instead of a teaspoon.

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
2 strips thick cut Berkshire bacon chopped
1 large handful of ramps roughly chopped
1/2 C fiddleheads par-boiled
freshly ground pepper
8 oz orecchiette pasta boiled according to package
shaved pecorino romano

Start the pasta while preping the rest of the ingredient, but wait until your pasta is done and drained before you start cooking the rest. I just use the pot the pasta comes out of to make the bacon and veggies.

Add the oil to a hot pan over medium high heat, then add the bacon. Fry until the bacon is slightly brown around the edges (but not crispy)

Add the ramps and fiddleheads and saute lightly, adding a pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Add the pasta and toss to coat.

Serve with shaved Pecorino Romano.

  • mish

    Hey, just stopping by to see what you did w/your foraged haul (we met on the tour, talked food blogs- will add yours to my list!). I went with pasta for my first dish too, but yours definitely turned out much prettier than mine. I have to say I was a little let down by the fiddleheads, but maybe my expectations were too high (damn trendy ingredients). Gotta love the ramps though! Next on my list: ramp-topped pizza, sausage & ramps, and ramp soup for when they start to get all wilty sitting in my crisper.

  • mish

    Hey, just stopping by to see what you did w/your foraged haul (we met on the tour, talked food blogs- will add yours to my list!). I went with pasta for my first dish too, but yours definitely turned out much prettier than mine. I have to say I was a little let down by the fiddleheads, but maybe my expectations were too high (damn trendy ingredients). Gotta love the ramps though! Next on my list: ramp-topped pizza, sausage & ramps, and ramp soup for when they start to get all wilty sitting in my crisper.

  • http://cannelle-vanille.blogspot.com/ Aran

    This looks so simple and wonderful. Love it!

  • http://cannelle-vanille.blogspot.com/ Aran

    This looks so simple and wonderful. Love it!

  • http://www.hungryandfrozen.blogspot.com/ Laura @ Hungry and Frozen

    That’s cool that you got to use your new goodies :) I wonder if the fiddleheads taste similar to the fern fronds that some chefs here in New Zealand use? (I can’t remember if they are called horopito or pikopiko or something else entirely, they’re not exactly a regular household item.) The pasta looks great!

  • http://www.hungryandfrozen.blogspot.com Laura @ Hungry and Frozen

    That’s cool that you got to use your new goodies :) I wonder if the fiddleheads taste similar to the fern fronds that some chefs here in New Zealand use? (I can’t remember if they are called horopito or pikopiko or something else entirely, they’re not exactly a regular household item.) The pasta looks great!

  • http://www.sugarbar.org/ diva

    wow this looks really good. love how the fiddleheads are standing out from tht dish but it was really those cheese strips that got to me. love cheese..mmmm. good’un marc x

  • http://www.sugarbar.org diva

    wow this looks really good. love how the fiddleheads are standing out from tht dish but it was really those cheese strips that got to me. love cheese..mmmm. good’un marc x

  • http://www.sugarbar.org/ diva

    by the way marc,
    i’ve tagged you for Top 10 Pictures! check out my blog for more details :)
    x
    diva

  • http://www.sugarbar.org diva

    by the way marc,
    i’ve tagged you for Top 10 Pictures! check out my blog for more details :)
    x
    diva

  • http://closetcooking.blogspot.com/ Kevin

    That pasta looks simple and tasty!

  • http://closetcooking.blogspot.com/ Kevin

    That pasta looks simple and tasty!

  • http://www.tartelette.blogspot.com/ Tartelette

    Two things I can’t find here: ramps and fiddleheads…I have food envy right now!! The dish is simply gorgeous!

  • http://www.tartelette.blogspot.com Tartelette

    Two things I can’t find here: ramps and fiddleheads…I have food envy right now!! The dish is simply gorgeous!

  • http://mikes-table.themulligans.org/ mike

    I’ve never found ramps or fiddleheads either. The dish sounds light and tasty, but also, looks beautifully on the plate. Nice work!

  • http://mikes-table.themulligans.org/ mike

    I’ve never found ramps or fiddleheads either. The dish sounds light and tasty, but also, looks beautifully on the plate. Nice work!

  • http://www.weareneverfull.com/ we are never full

    wha-wha-what!? no garlic!? i know that the ramps have a leek-like taste, but I’d need to throw in a few cloves of garlic and this would be perfect. that bacon makes up for it… YUM!

  • http://www.weareneverfull.com we are never full

    wha-wha-what!? no garlic!? i know that the ramps have a leek-like taste, but I’d need to throw in a few cloves of garlic and this would be perfect. that bacon makes up for it… YUM!

  • Marc

    Thanks Mish, Aran!

    Laura, yea these are essentially unopened fern fronds, though I’ve been told that you’re not supposed to eat them once they open up into fronds. Could be a different species of fern too?

    Thanks Diva and Kevin!

    Tartelette, the ostrich fern grows all over North America from what I understand, so you might be able to find them locally yourself if not at a grocery store. Ramps on the other hand seem to be limited to the east coast of North America and they’re pretty delicate so not ideal for shipping around the country to stores. You can get seeds and grow them yourself though.

    Thanks Mike!

    We Are Never Full, I thought about adding garlic, but the ramps actually taste pretty strongly of garlic (especially when raw). It mellows out a bit when you cook them, but it’s still there. That said, if you’re a real garlic fiend, it might not be enough:-)

  • Marc

    Thanks Mish, Aran!

    Laura, yea these are essentially unopened fern fronds, though I’ve been told that you’re not supposed to eat them once they open up into fronds. Could be a different species of fern too?

    Thanks Diva and Kevin!

    Tartelette, the ostrich fern grows all over North America from what I understand, so you might be able to find them locally yourself if not at a grocery store. Ramps on the other hand seem to be limited to the east coast of North America and they’re pretty delicate so not ideal for shipping around the country to stores. You can get seeds and grow them yourself though.

    Thanks Mike!

    We Are Never Full, I thought about adding garlic, but the ramps actually taste pretty strongly of garlic (especially when raw). It mellows out a bit when you cook them, but it’s still there. That said, if you’re a real garlic fiend, it might not be enough:-)

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  • Chef-at-heart

    Try the orecchiette with Broc. rab and garlic/lemon/white wine for the veg meal and add some italian grilled sausage for the meat people. Its one of my favorites to make!

  • Chef-at-heart

    Try the orecchiette with Broc. rab and garlic/lemon/white wine for the veg meal and add some italian grilled sausage for the meat people. Its one of my favorites to make!

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  • Home Cook in NYC

    Three years later, I am looking for something to do with ramps and came across this post.  I followed this recipe, more or less, but added a bit of crushed red pepper and a clove of garlic.  Awesome.  Even my one-year-old ate everything on her plate!  Love it! 

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I'm Marc, and I want to teach you some basic techniques and give you the confidence and inspiration so that you can cook without recipes too!