Pasta with Ramp, White Beans, and Shiitake

April 24, 2014

Vegan Gemelli with Ramp, White Beans, and Shiitake

Pasta is one of my go-to meals for a busy weeknight. I like my pasta best when it’s perfectly al dente, and tossed with a combination of fresh vegetables and umami-rich, heartier ingredients. When these complementary ingredients combine, the flavors become so intensely savory that you don’t need a lot of oil, processed meat or cheese alternatives, or pasta, to feel satisfied. But to keep my pasta-loving self in check, I use a food scale to measure the dry pasta. 🙂 The perfect amount for a dinner for 2, I’ve found, is just 5 ounces (2 oz serving of pasta = 200 calories).

Fresh ramp - pasta with ramp

Beautiful ramp babies.

The other day, I was at the farmer’s market when I noticed a bunch of ramps. They were all but unknown until recently, but their pungent flavor and lovely tenderness have made them increasingly popular. They’ve been described as onion-like but I think they’re more similar to what’s known as Chinese chives (different from regular chives). This green is transformed when stir-fried with mushrooms, white beans, and tossed with pasta, toasted walnuts and a squeeze of lemon juice–it’s like perfect harmony of flavors.

Pasta with Ramp, White Beans, and Shiitake

5 oz dry pasta (I used gemelli; you could also use medium shells or penne)

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 medium cloves garlic, minced

about 3 oz fresh ramp

1 can cannellini beans, rinsed thoroughly and drained

about 5 medium shiitake mushrooms, cleaned and sliced

about 5 medium white button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced

about 8 walnut halves, chopped

juice of 1/2 lemon

salt and black pepper

1. Boil water in a medium pot and cook pasta according to the direction. Remember to add some salt to the water! Drain and set aside.

2. In the meantime, prep the veggies. Clean the ramp and cut them into 3″ long pieces.

3. Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. When it starts to bubble slightly, add the mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring lightly. Add garlic and salt generously.

4. When the mushrooms are tender and give off some of their water, add the ramp. Stir to combine well, then add the beans, and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Add the pasta and toss well and salt and pepper generously. Take off the heat and give a good squeeze of lemon.

5. Meanwhile, dry toast the chopped walnut in a nonstick or cast iron skillet for about 1/2 to 1 minute, until it smells fragrant. Add the walnut to the pasta pan. Enjoy!

Vegan Gemelli with Ramp, White Beans, and Shiitake

Also see: Vegan Sushi 2 Ways

Crispy Seitan Salad

Low-fat Vegan Tamales

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Photo: Peaceful Dumpling

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Originally from Portland, Oregon, Juhea now lives in NYC with her Oreo cookie cat, Zeus. When she is not writing, she enjoys running in Central Park, yoga, and teaching Barre classes. Follow Juhea on Instagram @peacefuldumpling, Google+ and Pinterest.

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