Creamy Ramp Pesto Pasta

Creamy Ramp Pesto Pasta

Ramps are one of those items that seem so appealing at the market but can be a challenge to use when you get them home. This dish solves the problem. Because the recipe comes from Rachael Ray, who made her name teaching a generation to get dinner on the table in 30 minutes, it’s quick to make once you have the ramps blanched. The pesto comes together fast, so you can make it while the pasta is boiling. The creaminess of the ricotta tempers the ramps, which can vary in their pungency. Pink peppercorns are berries, not true peppercorns. They add a lovely look to the finished pasta and bring a more delicate fruitiness and a quieter heat than black pepper; if you can't find them, black pepper will do just fine.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 6 persons



  1. Step 1

    Bring a large pot of water to a boil for pasta. Set aside an ice-water bath in a medium bowl.
  2. Step 2

    Blanch the ramp leaves in boiling water for 15 seconds. Remove with a spider or slotted spoon and immediately plunge them into the ice bath. Drain the leaves and dry on a kitchen towel. Tops should be bright and vibrant green in color.
  3. Step 3

    Add the blanched leaves to a food processor with 1/4 of the ramp bulbs and stems, plus the lemon zest and juice, the pistachios and the Parmigiano-Reggiano. Pulse to finely chop, and stream in the olive oil until the pesto comes together into a thick sauce. Taste and, if desired, add more bulbs and stems, a few at a time, then add salt to taste and pulse to combine. (Reserve the remaining bulbs and stems for use in dressings, sautéed vegetable dishes or eggs.)
  4. Step 4

    Place the ricotta or mascarpone in large mixing bowl.
  5. Step 5

    Salt the pasta water and cook pasta about 1 minute less than package directions for al dente. Just before draining, remove 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water and add to the ricotta or mascarpone to soften and loosen the cheese. Add the ramp pesto and stir to combine. Drain pasta, add to sauce and toss to coat. Transfer pasta to a serving dish or individual bowls, and top with a generous amount of pink peppercorn.