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Charlie's Ramp Pesto Cavatelli with Fresh Morels

a plate of food on a table


A springy, earthy and delicious homemade cavatelli and ramp pesto recipe by Chef Charlie Palmer

serves 4 appetizer portions


12 oz cavatelli, homemade or an artisanal dried pasta brand

4 oz morel mushrooms, washed and dried

3 T sweet butter

3 T ramp pesto (recipe below)

1.5 cups vegetable stock

3 oz parmesan cheese

1 oz extra virgin olive oil

6 pickled ramps

Salt and pepper 

How to Make:

1. In a large sauté pan, melt the butter. When it starts to foam, add the morels. Sauté over medium heat for 2 minutes

2. In a pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta (fresh-made pasta is done once it floats to the top, approx. 4 mins. Dried pasta, approx. 8 mins. Test for doneness 

3. Add pesto to the morels, along with half the vegetable stock. Bring to a simmer.

4. Drain and toss the pasta in the sauce. Adjust liquid and season with cracked pepper and a bit more salt, if needed 

5. Plate in four small bowls. Top with pickled ramps (cut and whole), olive oil, and shaved parmesan 

Ramp Pesto

6 oz ramp leaves

1/4 cup pine nuts

1/4 cup Parmesan

3 T olive oil

1 T salt

How to Make:

1. In a food processor, grind pine nuts until fine, then add ramp leaves and olive oil. Mix for 45 seconds 

2. Add parmesan and salt, and mix for another 45 seconds or until the pesto is smooth