Bucatini with Ramps and Pangrattato

Ingredients

For the pangrattato

  • 2 Cups  extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
  • quart dried or stale bread, torn into small pieces
  •   Salt and freshly ground black, to taste
  •   Zest of 1 lemon
  • small chile (Fresno or Thai), diced finely
  • cloves garlic, diced
  • salted anchovy in oil, diced

For the bucatini

  • quarts water
  • 2 Tablespoons  salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 Pound  bucatini
  • 1/4 Cup  plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • cloves garlic, smashed
  • 6 Ounces  ramps, leaves cut in half and stems diced finely
  •   Red pepper flakes, to taste
  •   Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 Cup  plus 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 Cup  grated Parmesan, plus more for serving

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by Jacques Larson

This is my favorite vegetable. Ramps show up early and often on our menu, but no option is more popular than this dish. Pangrattato, if you've never had it before, is a topping made with old bread, spiced up with a little chile and rounded out with some anchovy for some richness. It's the perfect accompaniment to this pasta dish.

Click here to see In Season: Ramps.

Directions

For the pangrattato

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the dried bread pieces, making sure the bread is completely coated with a little oil to spare (add more oil if necessary). Toss the bread with salt and pepper, to taste, constantly stirring until golden brown and crispy. 

Add the remaining ingredients and toss until the garlic begins to brown. Line a baking sheet with a clean kitchen towel and place on the baking sheet. Place in the oven to dry out the bread, for at least 45 minutes.

For the bucatini

In a large pot, bring the water to a boil over high heat and add the salt. Cook the bucatini. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and brown. Then, remove the cloves with a slotted spoon, leaving the oil in the pan.

Add the ramp stems to the pan. Sauté, but be careful not to brown. Season with red pepper flakes and black pepper, to taste, and add the ramp leaves. Add a ladleful of pasta water to the pan and set aside.

Once the pasta is al dente, add the bucatini to the sauté pan, making sure to reserve some of the cooking water and raise the heat. Add about ½ cup or so of pasta water to the sauté pan and continue to cook the pasta so that it absorbs all of the flavor. 

Once the pasta water has almost completely evaporated, add the butter and swirl the pan until the sauce is emulsified. Add the Parmesan, season with salt, to taste, and toss. Divide the pasta among 4 bowls. Serve with additional grated cheese and top with the pangrattato.

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