- 1 small bunch ramps, about 8–12, depending on size, cleaned, ends trimmed and cut in half
- 1/2 cup walnuts, plus more for garnish
- salt and pepper, to taste, plus plenty of salt for the pasta water
- 1/2 small lemon, juiced, (about 1 tablespoon) plus more for finishing
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3/4 cup grated good quality parmesan cheese, such as Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana Padano, plus more for garnish
- 1/2 lb long pasta, such as linguini, bucatini or fettuccine
- 1 bunch asparagus, ends removed and shaved with a vegetable peeler into thin ribbons
- Fill a large pot with water and place on the stove to boil.
- Add the ramps, walnuts, salt and pepper to the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times to break them up. Pour in the lemon juice and let the motor run as you slowly stream in the olive oil to create a smooth sauce. Add the parmesan cheese and pulse a few more times until combined. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
- When the water is boiling, add a generous amount of salt, along with the pasta, and cook until very al dente. Drop the asparagus into the pasta water, gently stir and count to ten. Reserve a cup or two of the pasta water, then drain. Transfer the pasta and asparagus to a serving bowl and toss with the pesto, thinning out with a bit of pasta water as needed to make it saucy. Taste, adjust the seasoning as needed and give an extra squirt of lemon juice to brighten it up, if desired. Garnish with more grated parmesan and chopped walnuts and serve immediately.