Sunday, May 8, 2011

Pasta with Fiddleheads, Ramp Pesto and Avocado Cream Sauce

Pasta with Fiddleheads, Ramp Pesto and Avocado Cream

It's spring and everything is turning green! It seems all the leaves popped out overnight around here. It's almost startling to go from barren twigs to big, shady canopies and flowers everywhere. It has certainly pissed off my sinuses, but that's besides the point. 

All this greenery is inspiring me to cook and eat many a green thing. More and more vegetables will be arriving around here soon, but they're not quite there yet. I do, however, have ramps and fiddleheads!

This ramp pesto is a great way to use a bulk of ramps to store for later. It has a beautiful bright green color and a nice garlicky bite. 

Fiddleheads are baby ostrich ferns that have not yet unraveled. I love their beautiful spiral shape and nutty flavor. You can cook and freeze them, so you can enjoy this meal later in the year as well. If you don't have fiddleheads you can use asparagus for delicious results as well! 

Pasta with Fiddleheads, Ramp Pesto and Avocado Cream

Ramp Pesto

1 bunch ramps, trimmed (about 10-15)
1/4 cup toasted walnuts (or any nut of your preference, I had walnuts on hand)
1/2 cup finely grated parmesan
1/3 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Combine the ramps, walnuts, parmesan, and lemon juice in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the ramps and walnuts are broken up into small pieces.

2. Slowly drizzle the olive oil into the food processor while it is running and continue to process in pulses until it is finely ground, but not pureed. Season with salt and pepper.

Avocado Cream Sauce Pasta

Serves 4-6
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp butter
2 ripe hass avocados, chopped into small pieces
1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese, plus additional for topping
1/3 cup ramp pesto (or sauté some garlic in the butter if you are not making the ramp pesto)
Salt and pepper to taste

1 lb fresh fettuccine pasta
3/4 cup fresh or frozen sweet peas
3/4 cup fiddleheads (already cooked)

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in your milk, then add the chopped avocado. Cook over medium heat, whisking frequently, until the avocado has broken up and the sauce is creamy. Add the ramp pesto and parmesan cheese, stir until melted and season with salt and pepper. 

3. Cook the pasta according to package instructions, reserving a few tablespoons of the pasta water. Add the fiddleheads and peas to the sauce to heat through. Add the drained pasta to the sauce and toss to coat with the and distribute vegetables, adding pasta water to thin the sauce as needed. Sprinkle with additional cheese if desired!


  1. I just love all the seasonal ingredients in this. I definitely have to try that avocado sauce. Such a great idea!

  2. Me and my friend just made and ate this dish. We couldn't find ramps anywhere since they are seasonal, so we substituted with regular homemade pesto (pine nuts, basil, garlic, parmesan and olive oil) and we grilled chicken and tossed that into the pasta as well. This dish was delicious. Highly recommend it. Thanks!