Sometimes I feel like I blather on far too much about myself in the midst of telling you about my food adventures. Still, some of you have expressed an interest in learning even more about me and what makes me tick.
I'm not one for navel-gazing, and can't bring myself to propagate one of those tell-all memes, so I thought a good compromise would be to share one of my favorite pasta dishes with you, along with a list of some simple things that make me happy.
- Slipping into the silken embrace of high thread count Egyptian cotton sheets.
- The way the sun kisses everything it touches with warm hues in late afternoon.
- Productive days when I get to cross off several things from my to-do list.
- Lazy sunday mornings in bed, followed by lazier afternoons in the kitchen.
- Simple pastas like this Ramp and Scallop Linguine.
I've always been more of a noodle guy than a rice guy and there's something perfect about long, maize coloured strands of al dente pasta shimmering with olive oil tossed with a vegetable and a protein. No fuss, no fancy sauce, and no room for dodgy ingredients. Because of the simplicity, each component of this pasta has to be able to sing on its own. In this case, the staring trio includes olive oil, ramps and scallops.
Try to find an olive oil that's creamy with a clean aftertaste. If you can't find ramps in your area, use garlic chives or garlic scapes. As for the scallops, look for scallops that are sold "dry" -- meaning they haven't been chemically treated. Dry scallops are better defined in shape and usually have a pinkish orange color.
So what are some of your favourite things?
- Boil the pasta in a large pot full of generously salted water until al dente, or according to the package directions.
- Drain the pasta and drizzle with olive oil to prevent it from sticking together.
- Return the pot to the stove and add 3 tablespoons of oil. Heat on high until the oil shimmers. Add the scallops and saute until slightly opaque. Add the ramps and continue sauteing until the ramps are bright green. Working quickly, add the chili flakes and salt and pepper to taste.
- Take the pot off the heat then add the pasta, tossing to coat. Serve immediately.