RAMPS! So very seasonal! Their seasonality is sort of dramatic. Especially here in Los Angeles where ramps don’t grow locally.
Most ramps you’ll find in LA are from the Pacific Northwest because they need like forest-y type of terrain and they need a lot of rain and water.
They’re a spring time produce and they’re so delicious. They’re really good with so many things.
A few years ago was the first time I tried a ramp and I was, like, what is all the fuss about?!?! Well, if you’ve never had them I’ll describe them like this:
Think very garlicky but without the spice. They’re a very smooth flavor but strong. It’s hard to describe but they’re really just this delicious garlicky/onion-y type flavor but don’t feel intense or bitter or sharp. It’s smooth AF.
This meal obviously could be made without the ramps. This is a classic cacio e pepe pasta. Cacio e pepe is super easy to make. It’s all about technique tho and really the most important thing in this recipe is the pasta water and the black pepper and cheese.
I made this dish a million years ago for the blog. When I first started this blog, I lived in a studio apartment and shot most of the photos on my patio. I had terrible lighting inside my apartment and the patio was literally the only place I could take a dang photo. I remember neighbors would pass by and always be like what is this weird-ass girl doing taking photos of her food . Lol.
I wanted to share this recipe AGAIN because I made it soooo long ago and it really deserved a makeover, Queer Eye-style. I gave it a whole new home, a new wardrobe and a good haircut. The roots were perfectly fine.
Hello, hi, hello! I’m finally back in Los Angeles, tucked in my very comfortable bed with Amelia sleeping on my feet. When I got back, I immediately told her all about the cute dogs I saw on the road. Mostly telling her how grateful she is for having a warm bed and a constant stream of food, but she’s shrugging her shoulders at me. Typical.
In my brain a few weeks ago, I was craving cacio e pepe but I also wanted it to be cheesy. Cacio e pepe enthusiasts and purists will scoff at this recipe but the rest of us who love cheesy cheese and black pepper, will love it. I can’t win them all.
This recipe is sort of a simple base for a stovetop macaroni and cheese. Except it has way less salt (because of the Parmesan-Reggiano), some mozzarella and it requires that you save the pasta water (just like traditional cacio e pepe). That extra pasta water will loosen it up a bit and make it even creamier and more delicious.
Whenever I was a little kid, I used to come home and make Kraft Mac n’ Cheese and would ALWAYS put a ton of black pepper on top. That is the inspiration behind this recipe.