Monday, April 30, 2012

Wheat Pappardelle with Wild Ramps Leaves and Pecorino Romano

All Images © Valery Rizzo

My friend Laura came for a visit last week to give me some advice on my vegetable garden. she brought me some of her homemade pineapple ice cream and a bag full of wild ramp leaves! Laura's soon to be in-laws have a house in Connecticut where ramps grow wild on the back end of their land. A first of the spring vegetables, ramps are a wild onion or leak and have a strong garlicky smell and a pronounced onion like flavor. If you can pick find them wild that is the way to go because they can cost anywhere from 8.00 -11.00 per lb. 

Ramps!?Does anyone know where the ramps are?? I keep hearing about ramps everywhere but I don't know where to find them. A voice asked over the loudspeaker at the Park Slope Food Coop and then a dozen people scurrying to direct her to the ramps. It was hilarious. Laura picks the ramps, brings them back to Brooklyn and uses the bottoms to make her famed pickled ramps. Quite frankly, I did not know what to do with a ramp. Laura suggested sautéing the leaves like I would spinach. I then found a beautiful box of Pappardelle, made from Hard Amber Durum Wheat , grown & milled in small batches in California at The Food Coop. Together the wild ramp leaves sautéed with olive oil and garlic and the wheat Pappardelle made the perfect lunch, prepared with generous amounts of grated Pecorino Romano and freshly ground pepper.

Wheat Pappardelle with Wild Ramp Leaves and Pecorino Romano

2 handfulls of Wild Ramp Leaves

1 8oz box of wheat Pappardelle

2 cloves of garlic

Extra-virgin olive oil

Pecorino Romano

Black peppercorns

Sea Salt

Bring to a boil a pot of water for the Pappardelle. Add a teaspoon of sea salt.

Remove bottom white part of ramps and save for pickling or another recipe. Using only the greens leaves of the wild ramps, place them in a colander and wash thoroughly with warm water removing any dirt or unwanted critters.

In a medium saute pan, over medium heat, swirl a generous amount of extra-virgin olive oil. Rustically chop two cloves of garlic, add to the pan and cook a few minutes. Add the ramp leaves whole to the pan. tossing when needed, season with a bit of sea salt and saute for about 5 - 7 minutes.

At the same time your water should be boiling and you can add the pappardelle, cook for about 5 - 7 minutes or until al dente. 

When pasta is ready reserve about a half a cup of the pasta water and add to the pan with sauteed leaves. Drain pappardelle and add to the leaves. cook for another couple of minutes while adding generous amounts of freshly ground black pepper (using a pepper mill) and grated Pecorino Romano, stirring and cooking everything together.

Serves 2 hungry people or 4 smaller servings.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Brooklyn Photo of the Week: Hayseed's Big City Farm Supply

Photo © Valery Rizzo

Hayseed's Big City Farm Supply, Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Old-School Italian: Carroll Gardens, James Beard, Saveur and Book News

All photos © Valery Rizzo

Hello everyone, I just wanted to let you know about a few things, the first being my most recent feature I shot for Nona Brooklyn, one of my other gigs. It's a story about the generations-old, family-run Italian Culinary Treasures of Carroll Gardens, when I was growing up it was called South Brooklyn. Click here to see the full feature on Nona.

In other great news, Nona Brooklyn was also nominated for a James Beard Award as well as for Best Group Blog in Saveur Magazine's 2012 Best Food Blog Awards. I am very proud to be a part of Nona and to work with the very talented co-founder and editor Peter Hobbs and all the other brillant writers, photographers and contributors.You can show your support by signing in and voting here. (The vote is not valid unless you sign in) The last day for voting is April 29th!
If you don't already know I was honored to be one of the many photographers profiled in the great Lara Ferroni's latest book, Food Photography, Pro Secrets for Styling, Lighting & Shooting. A really well written book loaded with pro photographer insight and information about food photography. It is now available for purchase on amazon by clicking here. There is a US and a British version.

Tomorrow I have to find out if the Park Slope Food Coop can ask their lemon farmer to include some leaves in their next shipment so I can start to working on my family's Limoncello recipe for Eating Brooklyn...they won't be the same lemons from Capri, but it will be made in Brooklyn! Please Park Slope Coop, can you get me some leaves.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Brooklyn Photo of the Week: Caputo's Bake Shop

Photo © Valery Rizzo

Caputo's Bake Shop, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, 2012.

Established in 1904, Caputo's Bakery offers fresh breads, pastries, cakes, cookies and more.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Dinner at iCi Fort Greene

All images © Valery Rizzo

I returned to iCi in Fort Greene, Brooklyn for some interior dinner shots of the restaurant. You might remember them from a previous post here. I will also be returning in the summer when their lovely outdoor garden is open for dinning and they have started to grow herbs and such.

iCi Restaurant, 246 Dekalb Avenue, Brooklyn. Fresh, Seasonal and Local.