Ramp ‘n ricotta gnudi

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If you’ve never taken a shovel to the forest floor and pulled out dinner, the heady scent of deep and rich forest dirt flooding your nostrils, then i wish it upon you someday.

Ramps in the northeast are the first sign of spring’s abundance. since my initial taste a few years back, not just of them, but of harvesting them in the wild, i wouldn’t miss it for the world. in fact, when i heard they were up in the berkshires this past weekend, a tad earlier than the norm, we jumped in the car and drove as fast as we could to our little farmhouse in the country.

This year in particular i couldn’t wait to see their bright green lily-like leaves perched upright amongst the crisp layer of last falls’ fallen maples and the like. because i had an idea up my paw just waiting to be tried. a couple of years ago at the spotted pig, and yet again at falai, i discovered gnudi, an italian pasta-like dish that kinda, sorta resembles gnocchi, but i like the more accurate description of a ‘nude’ ravioli better. in other words, it’s the middle without the casing. its decadence lies in the not-so-mere fact, that the good stuff isn’t rationed, it’s the whole damn thing. made even more decadent by the fleeting wild leek, this version might best be eaten laying down.

Now, i’m not gonna lie, i had one of my catty pilgrim moments and i made the buttermilk ricotta from scratch, but that’s ’cause my idea of a good time is a sunday in the kitchen. you could certainly buy your ricotta from a good source, and while you’re at it, source those ramps and get this spring-time on your plate.

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