Meyer lemons are actually a cross between a lemon and a mandarin (or possibly another type of) orange. As a result they are generally a golden yellow when mature and have an intensely aromatic citrus scent. The Meyer lemon is native to China and was introduced to the US in the early twentieth century by a US Department of Agriculture employee following a trip to China. A virus in the 1940s wiped out many Meyer lemon trees and it is only since the mid 1970s that production of a symptom-less variety has resumed. One of the darlings of the foodie revolution, a little Meyer lemon goes a long way and the scent is definitely the dominant characteristic in this creamy, fresh, spring pasta.
Ramps are wild onions that resemble scallions in appearance and garlic in flavor. They are characterized by their broad, flat leaves and the purple "neck" they have on their stem and form part of the allium genus, which includes all types of onions and garlic (think plants with pungent bulbs and flowering tops). They are native to the East coast of the United States. The name is derived from the Elizabethan English word "ramson" which refers to the English bear leek - a close cousin to our American ramps. Parts of the US, in particular the Appalachian region of West Virginia, hold festivals each spring to celebrate the arrival of ramp season.
Like many pasta dishes this comes together very quickly and requires extremely minimal preparation. Dinner can be ready in about 15 minutes. What? What?! Yup - 15 minutes. Woot! Woot!
Meyer Lemon and Ramp Pasta with Arugula ~ serves 2
4 oz Fettucine (dry weight)
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons mascarpone
2 cups arugula
2 Meyer lemons, juice & zest
salt & pepper to taste
Cook pasta according to directions. Meanwhile, dice the bulbs of the ramps and slice the leaves. Hold the leaves aside while you melt the butter in a sauté pan and gently sauté the minced ramp bulbs. Add the Meyer lemon juice, mascarpone, and ramp leaves. Stir and melt the mascarpone. Add the arugula, cooked pasta, and Meyer lemon zest. Toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately.
If you like this recipe, be sure to check out these other great pasta recipes:
|Kale & Beet Ravioli|
|Brussels Sprouts and Pine Nut Pasta|
|Tuna Noodle Casserole - No Canned Soup!|
|Hat-trick Lasagna (aka The Best Lasagna You Ever Ate)|
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