As a thank-you to Lucy and her mother for throwing me such a wonderful bride-to-be-tea back in September, my mother and I brought them to the Butterfly Place in Westford, MA last weekend. Its basically a greenhouse filled with all different types of butterflies. They all around you and its pretty cool!
These pretty blue ones were my favorite, but they are very elusive. When you can actually get them to land, they close up their wings so you only see the brown outside.
Some of us were lucky enough to have passengers. This guy took a ride on my mother's shoulder for quite awhile.
We think he was looking for a friend.
My mother is kind of obsessed with butterflies, and we all apparently know it. For this outing she wore this pin that Lucy had given her, butterfly earrings that were a gift from me, and a butterfly purse that Lucy's mother had given her. I had a friend too!
After a couple hours with the butterflies, we went for tea (again!) at the Stonehedge Inn. It was quite a feast of scones, beautiful tea sandwiches and sweet treats.
After our busy day of butterflying and eating I stopped at Russo's to pick up groceries and found the first true signs of Spring - ramps and morels!
You may recall me swooning over ramps about a year ago around this time. They are so special and delicious. Ramps grow wild, and are sweet, tiny green onions that are only in season for 3 - 4 weeks in the early Spring. They are very precious and not cheap. The same is true for wild morel mushrooms, also available for a limited time in the Spring. But, if you are using them as the focus of your meal, its really not any pricier than buying a nice piece of meat for dinner. And so much more worth it, in my opinion. Plus, a little goes a long way.
A simple presentation and minimal cooking time is the best way to highlight these ingredients. I sauteed them lightly with white wine and olive oil and tossed them with bucatini, a hallow type of spaghetti.
I still had evidence of my butterfly excursion.
Ramps and Morels with Bucatini
4 oz. ramps, bulbs thinly sliced and green leaves left whole
4 oz. morels, washed and halved or quartered
1 Tbl unsalted butter
1 Tbl olive oil
2 cloves crushed garlic
6 oz. bucatini pasta
grated parmesan cheese
- Cook bucatini in large pot of salted water until just tender. Drain and set aside, reserving some of the cooking water.
- Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add butter and swirl until melted. Add ramp bulbs and saute a couple minutes until slightly softened. Add mushrooms and saute a couple minutes more. Add crush garlic and saute another minute.
- Add ramp leaves and saute another minute.
- Toss cooked pasta with vegetables, adding a little pasta water if needed to coat.
- Serve and top with grated parmesan.