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Pasta Carbonara with Ramps

When ramps are in season I head to the farmer's market. This is, hands down, my favorite way to eat ramps and my favorite way to make pasta carbonara.
Prep Time 15 hrs
Cook Time 10 hrs
Total Time 1 d 1 hr
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4


  • 1 lb dry spaghetti
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 oz pancetta or slab bacon, cubed or sliced into small strips
  • 1 bunch ramps (8-12 stalks)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  • Beat the eggs and Parmesan together in a mixing bowl, stirring well to prevent lumps. Cut stems from ramps where the white meets the green. Chop stems and cut greens about one inch wide.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until tender yet firm (as they say in Italian 'al dente'). Drain the pasta well, reserving 1/2 cup of the starchy cooking water to use in the sauce if it gets too dry.
  • Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a deep skillet over medium heat. Add the pancetta and sauté until the bacon is crisp and the fat is rendered. Toss the ramp stems into the fat and sauté for less than 1 minute to soften.
  • Add ramp greens and the hot, drained spaghetti to the pan and toss for 2 minutes to coat the strands in the bacon fat and wilt the greens.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and pour the egg/cheese mixture into the pasta, stirring quickly until the eggs thicken, but do not scramble (this is done off the heat to prevent this from happening). Thin out the sauce with a little bit of the reserved pasta water at a time until it reaches desired consistency. Season the carbonara with several turns of freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste. Mound the spaghetti carbonara into warm plates or bowls and sprinkle a little more cheese over the top.
Keyword dinner, pasta, ramps