I am extending the ramp season a bit with more with a few more posts. Sorry guys! On our side of the mountain the ramp is late compared to some lower zones.
I made pasta I wanted to share that is so simple. You can substitute the ramp butter for any other compound butter you feel like making. I imagine nettle or spring garlic or mixed herbs would be quite nice as well.
I used Hen Of The Woods mushrooms but you can substitute any other kind. Maitake or Shitakes would be just as good.
Bucatini With Hen Of The Woods And Ramp Butter.
1/2 pound of Hen of The Woods
3 inch long piece of old stale baguette or other bread
Salt + Pepper
Set your pasta water to boil. When boiling generously salt it.
Start your Bucatini. It will take roughly 11 minutes or so and in the meantime if you have everything prepped you can cook the mushrooms and the breadcrumbs.
In a cast iron skillet or low sauté pan. Cover the bottom with a good olive oil.
Heat the olive oil on low-medium heat.
When hot drop your cleaned dry Hen Of the Woods into the olive oil and cook until some are just crispy.
Remove them from the olive oil and set in a dish to the side.
Chop your stale bread into small breadcrumbs. Drop them into the olive oil and cook for a minute or two. They will begin to brown and absorb most of the olive oil.
Add a Pinch of salt to the breadcrumbs.
Add a good dollop of Ramp butter and just melt it into the breadcrumbs.
Add the mushrooms and turn off the heat.
By this time your pasta should be done.
Before draining it reserve a cup or so of the pasta water. Set it to the side.
Drain you pasta and toss it into the mushroom ramp butter and bread crumb mixture.
Turn the heat on low and add about 1/2 cup of the pasta water to the mixture.
You will want to toss the pasta until all the ingredients are combined and everything is hot.
Add the rest of the pasta water if you need it.
Season with salt and fresh cracked black pepper and generously grate