When I had Chef April Bloomfield’s ricotta gnudi in New York at the James Beard Awards, and I had to recreate them, only with my own twist: A sauce of ramps and fresh porcini I found in the High Sierra.
Pasta, Risotto, Gnocchi
When life gives you mushrooms, make tortellini out of them. I love these little packets of love, and making them with morels is especially lovely.
It should be obvious by now how much I love spring onions in all their forms. This light, lovely Italian rice dish highlights whatever wild or store-bought green onion you have on hand, spiked with fresh spring green herbs.
A recipe for spaghetti with anchovies, a take on the classic pasta con le sarde from Sardinia and Sicily. Any small fish works, though.
An Italian classic. Squash gnocchi tossed with butter and sage, and, in this case, with wild mushrooms.
Growing up in New Jersey, this classic Italian-American pasta dish was one of my favorites: Linguini or spaghetti with white clam sauce. Clams, herbs, olive oil and lotsa garlic! I make this normally with West Coast littleneck clams, but lots of different clams will work.
Called strangolapreti — “priest stranglers” — in Italian, these dumplings made with breadcrumbs, cheese and a green thing (spinach, amaranth, chard, etc) are easy to make and are a great vegetarian main course or side dish for something meatier.
This is about as springtime as it gets. Fresh garden peas, served with light-as-air gnocchi made with pea puree, tied together with a little butter and cheese. Just a lovely light supper.