Although ramps or wild leeks are native to the eastern U.S. and Canada, they are related to leeks, and have more of a scallion-like taste, with an added zing. If wild leeks are unavailable, substitute 1 cup (250 mL) green onions and 1 tsp (5 mL) chopped garlic.
Serves 4 as an appetizer
- 2 cups (500 mL) cherry tomatoes
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 8 oz (250 g) linguine
- 2 tbsp (25 mL) hazelnuts
- 1 cup (250 mL) chopped wild leeks
- ¼ cup (50 mL) olive oil
- ¼ cup (50 mL) grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) pasta cooking water
- Salt and pepper
- 2 oz (60 g) grated hard goat cheese
Preheat oven to 400ºF (200ºC).
Cut cherry tomatoes in half and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place cut-side up on baking sheet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until skin is browned and tomatoes have softened. Scrape into a bowl along with any juices.
Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Add pasta and boil for 10 to 12 minutes or until al dente. Drain, reserving 2 tbsp (25 mL) pasta cooking water.
Place hazelnuts in food processor while pasta is cooking, and grind nuts until roughly chopped. Add leeks and olive oil and process until still slightly chunky. Stir in Parmesan cheese. Toss with pasta along with the cherry tomatoes, any juice and pasta cooking water. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Place on four serving plates and sprinkle goat cheese over top.