It’s Springtime and that means ramps are in season!! Too bad I can’t find any around here in Detroit (at least at the time I made this recipe). Ramps, if you haven’t had the pleasure of tasting, are wild onions with a garlic-onion flavor. They are also called spring onions or wild leeks. Since I couldn’t find any to make ramp carbonara in time for David’s birthday, I just substituted green onions. It wasn’t quite the same without ramps, but it was still delicious. Carbonara is pretty much my favorite pasta to make and eat -it’s a sexy pasta dish. I make bucatini carbonara at least once every 2 weeks, sometimes substituting strozzapreti or whatever pasta I have in the pantry for the bucatini. It’s silky, rich, and delicious.
adapted from: Food 52
1 pound spaghetti
1 cup chopped pancetta
2 tablespoons olive oil
approximately ¾ pound of green onions
1/3 cup white wine
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup grated Pecorino Romano
½ medium sized lemon
5 large eggs (or 4 extra-large)
First prep the green onions. Cut the root ends of the onions off and separated the white bulbs from the green leaves. Slice the bulbs in half and then chop. For the leaves (I used just the lower portion of the green onions, and saved the very tops for another use) stack and slice lengthwise into ribbons.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, parmesan and pecorino. Season with plenty of freshly grated black pepper.
Heat the olive oil in a large (big enough to handle a pound of cooked spaghetti) skillet over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook until crisp (or a little left crisp if you prefer softer). Add the white wine and cook until reduced by half.
Remove the pancetta and add the green onion bulbs, cooking until soft, 4-5 minutes. About 2 minutes before the pasta is done cooking, add the green onion leaves and cook until softly wilted.
While you are cooking the pancetta and onion bulbs, get well-salted water boiling in a large stock pot. Cook your spaghetti until it’s very al dente (your pasta will continue to cook in the sauce).
Reserve up to a cup of pasta water. Drain pasta and add the spaghetti to the pan with the pancetta and ramps. Toss the pasta in the sauce for 1 minute, allowing each noodle to get coated with the sauce.
Pour the egg/cheese mixture into the hot pasta, using a wooden spoon to quickly distribute the mixture. Remove from heat and continue stirring for 1-2 minutes. At this point add the reserved pasta water a little at a time and stir, until the sauce is a nice creamy consistency, not too thick but not too thin. Squeeze a bit of lemon over the sauce and season with salt and pepper if necessary.