Pasta with Clams, Ramps and Fava Beans
A simple purée of ramps and olive oil (similar to a pesto but without the pine nuts, cheese or basil) gives this dish its vibrant green color, kick and flavor
- 1 bunch ramps, about 8 stalks) root end trimmed
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- scant teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning and pasta
- 1 pound pasta of choice
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3 dozen clams, as small and tender as possible, shells scrubbed
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup shelled and peeled fave beans
- black pepper
Combine all but the purple/white end of one ramp and olive oil in the jar of a blender. Whiz until smooth, a few specks of green will most likely remain. Season with salt and whiz just to mix. Transfer purée to a jar with a lid.
Cook pasta in a large pot of salted water according to package instructions. Reserve 1 cup cooking liquid. Drain pasta and set aside. Return pasta pot to a low heat. Add butter. Finely chop reserved ramp and sweat in melted butter until just soft. Stir in 4 tablespoons of ramp purée and cook just a minute or two. Add clams, white wine and reserved cooking liquid. Increase heat, cover and cook until clams open, about 8 minutes. Add fava beans and cook 2 minutes more. Return pasta to pot, toss and cook just until piping hot - a minute or so. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Add a tad more purée and drizzle olive oil while serving.