Sunday, May 10, 2015

First Farmer's Market Meal! Ramps and Garlic Mustard Cream Sauce on Ricotta Gnocchi

I am so excited that Farmer's Market season is finally here! It feels like this winter just lasted forever and I am ready to get into the garden and start eating some fresh, local foods. Luckily, I don't have to wait any longer because the market held at the Grove St PATH plaza is back on Mondays and Thursdays. This is one of my favorite parts of the summer and heading down to check out the goodies each week is a tradition that usually ends with a full tote and a lot of dinner inspiration.

This week however I headed down there with something in mind. I have been seeing recipes recently for ricotta gnocchi and they made me curious. Potato gnocchi are about one of my most favorite meals. They are something my grandmother and aunts are known for among my extended family and just one of the classics that will always make me think of home. But making them fresh takes a lot of time.... which is why I only eat them about once a year.  Now that I have tried  this recipe, I honestly can see this becoming something that I cook much more often. Though I didn't time myself like the writer did versus a pot of boiling water, this recipe really was very simple. You will need a food scale but otherwise this recipe is the perfectly fool proof and will easily impress long as you can find the good ricotta that they speak of! I used Lioni Latticini Whole Milk Ricotta from Fresh Direct and I was very happy with my gnocchi.

When I saw this recipe posted just days ago I knew that it had to happen - I must make them! About 2 weeks ago I got some Japanese Knotweed from Dining Wild to roast with my pork tenderloin so I was excited to use them in the place of the asparagus and then I even considered fiddleheads. In the end after talking to the guys at Dining Wild and sampling some of the days harvest, I decided to use the ramps and garlic mustard. It's a bit of a departure from the original recipe but any time you mix amazing flavors with butter and cream its going to be good!

Ramp and Garlic Mustard Cream Sauce
1/4 lb ramps - washed and trimmed, whites chopped separate from the greens
1/4 lb garlic mustard - tops only, chopped
salt & pepper
2 dried red chili peppers
4 Tbsp butter
1 tsp flour
1 c half & half
2 tbsp Parmesan 
 up to 1 c pasta water 

Melt  3 Tbsp the butter and let it brown before adding ramp whites - allow to soften
Add the greens and wilt
Season with salt, pepper and crushed chili peppers and add the remainder of the butter
Add flour to mix and brown
Begin to add half & half slowly while stirring to incorporate
Let come to simmer and then stir in cheese and add pasta water to thin as needed