Morel, Wild Ramp, & Asparagus Pasta with Rhubarb Upside Down Cake

Morel, Wild Ramp, & Asparagus Pasta with Rhubarb Upside Down Cake

Morel, Wild Ramp, & Asparagus Pasta with Rhubarb Upside Down Cake

Laurie Crowell from Golden Fig Fine Foods shares a recipe using local produce that’s only available for a short time.

Morel, Wild Ramp, Asparagus Pasta

2 slices bacon-thicker cut, diced
2 TB olive oil, divided
3 wild ramps greens separated from the stalk. Chop both
1 lb asparagus, cut on an angle in about 2 inch pieces (PLEASE be eating only local this time of year! There is nothing better!)
1/2 lb fresh morels, well rinsed and halved
2 TB butter
1 C chicken stock
1/2 C heavy cream
1 TB fresh lemon juice
1 TB lemon zest
kosher salt and pepper
Parmesan Cheese, grated
1/2 lb pasta, cooked al dente (I love orzo but really any shape you like works!!)

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Cook bacon until crispy. Remove bacon and set aside on a piece of paper towel. With the pan still over medium high heat, add a tablespoon of olive oil. When the oil is hot, add chopped ramp stalks. Stir about 10 seconds until fragrant, add asparagus. Sauté until the asparagus is cooked and bright green. Remove the asparagus and set aside in a bowl.

In the same pan over medium high heat, add the morels and dry sauté. When the morels wilt,  allow the liquid to boil off. When most of the liquid is gone, add the remaining olive oil and butter to the pan. Sauté the mushrooms for a few minutes longer. Add chicken broth and reduce liquid. Reduce heat to medium and add cream. When cream begins to simmer, stir in the lemon juice, zest, ramp greens and asparagus. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the pasta to the sauce and gently toss to coat and heat through.    Serve with Parmesan cheese, a good dose of black pepper and cooked bacon sprinkled on top. Serves 2.

Rhubarb Upside Down Cake 

1/3 C butter
3 cups sliced fresh or frozen rhubarb
3/4 cup sugar 
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 
1 tsp lemon zest 

Cake Batter:
1/4 cup butter, melted 
3/4 cup sugar 
1 large egg, room temperature 
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour 
2 teaspoons baking powder 
1 TB vanilla bean paste 
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg 
1 tsp lemon zest 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
2/3 cup 2% milk 
Sweetened whipped cream, optional 

Melt butter in 10 in cast iron pan. 
Place rhubarb in pan on top of melted butter. 
Combine sugar, flour lemon zest and nutmeg; sprinkle over rhubarb. 

Cake batter: 

In a large bowl, beat melted butter and sugar until blended. 
Beat in egg, vanilla bean paste and lemon zest. 
Combine the flour, baking powder, nutmeg and salt. 
Gradually add to egg mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition. 
Spoon over rhubarb mixture. 
Bake at 350° until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. 
Loosen edge immediately with a sharp knife and invert onto a serving dish. 
Serve warm. 
If desired, serve with softly whipped cream.