Pasta with Ramp Pesto and Seared Salmon

Sautéed Salmon on a bed of ramp pesto pasta

The ramp pesto is a mix of ramps, pistachios, nutty cheese, lemon, and olive oil that perfectly complements the pasta and seared salmon. This is a quick and easy meal that comes together in 20 minutes!



For the pasta:

  • 1/3 pound spaghetti, or desired pasta shape

For the ramp pesto:

  • 1 bunch (100g) roughly chopped ramps
  • 1/4 cup (30g) shelled pistachios
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 cup (13g) grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/8 cup (10g) grated manchego cheese
  • 3 tablespoons (40g) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, about 1/2 of a lemon

For the Salmon:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2, 4-ounce skin-on salmon fillets 
  • kosher salt


  1. Boil the water. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil over high heat. If the pot boils before you are ready to cook the pasta, turn it down until you are ready (step 5).
  2. Make the ramp pesto. Add the ramps, pistachios, salt, and cheeses to a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add the rest of the ingredients and puree the mixture until smooth. Season the mixture with salt to taste. 
  3. Cook the salmon. Bring the salmon to room temperature and press the salmon fillets between two paper towels to dry the surfaces. In a 10-12 inch skillet, heat oil over medium heat until shimmering. Sprinkle a little bit of salt onto the skillet to prevent the salmon skin from sticking. Place the salmon fillet’s skin side down in the skillet. Press each fillet firmly in place for 10 seconds using the back of a spatula. Cover the skillet with a tight-fitting lid.  Allow the salmon to cook, completely covered, until it registers 110°F (43°C) in the very center for rare, 120°F (49°C) for medium-rare, or 130°F (54°C) for medium, 5 to 7 minutes total. Once cooked to desired doneness, transfer the salmon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
  4. Cook the pasta. While the salmon cooks, generously salt the boiling water and add the pasta. Cook the pasta according to package instructions. Drain the pasta, and toss with the pesto. 
  5. Assemble. Top the pasta with the cooked salmon and serve immediately. Garnish with more cheese and pistachios as desired. 



STORAGE. Store pesto in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. 

MAKE AHEAD. Place pesto in ice cube trays and freeze until solid, about 4 hours. Once frozen, transfer the pesto to a freezer-safe storage bag and freeze for up to 2 months. 


Keywords: ramp pesto, pesto pasta recipe, ramp recipes, seared salmon