Thank goodness for spring. The season’s first greens have arrived to brighten your meals and how good they are. This recipe combines the bitterness of broccoli rabe with the pungent sweetness of ramps and saltiness of parmasen. For those of you unfamiliar with them, ramps are wild leeks that appear briefly at the onset of spring. Enjoy them while you can before bidding adieu for a year.
1/2 lb. orecchiette pasta (white or whole wheat)
1 large bunch of broccoli rabe, stems trimmed and chopped
1 small bunch (1/3 lb.) of ramps, chopped
4 chicken sausage links
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 lb. shredded mozzarella
1/4 cub parmesan
1 cup sour cream
Salt and pepper
1. In large pot, boil enough water to thoroughly cover pasta. Salt liberally.
2. While the water is heating, heat 1 tbs. of oil in pan. When oil is shimmering, add sausages to pan and brown on each side.
3. When sausage is done, remove from pan and set aside. Chop into desired size.
4. Add a little more oil to pan, then stir in garlic.
5. When garlic is lightly browned, add broccoli rabe and season with salt.
6. When broccoli rabe is wilted, stir in ramps.
7. When water is boiling, reduce heat to simmer, then stir in pasta.
8. In a bowl, combine sour cream and mozzarella. Drizzle with olive oil. Add pasta water to thin consistency if desired.
9. When orecchiette is floating, drain, but reserve pasta water. Toss pasta with sour cream mixture, vegetables and sausage. Add reserved pasta (a little bit at a time!) if necessary. Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper.
10. Dish into bowls and sprinkle with parmesan. Serve with crusty bread.