This Vegan Cacio e Pepe with Ramps and Lemon is full of flavor and easy to make! It has a peppery bite, a zing of lemon, and a mild onion flavor and makes a perfect Springtime pasta dish! YUM!
The first time I had Cacio e Pepe was in Boston, MA, for a business trip. At this small Italian restaurant, the waiter recommended it as it was the best pasta they served. Reluctantly, after taking my first bite, my mouth filled with heat from the spice and a delicious, creamy, and cheesy flavor. I could not stop eating it.
Since I love experimenting with plant-based foods at home, I decided to work on my own iteration. My first attempt lacked the “creamy” flavor of the cheese. So, I sought out other ingredients to make this dish pop, and I found a winning pair: ramps & lemon.
What I love about this delicious Springtime pasta, even though there is no “creaminess” per se, it’s the flavor. It has a peppery bite, a zing of lemon, and a mild onion flavor.
Vegan Cacio e Pepe with Ramps & Lemon Ingredients:
Bucatini pasta – is hands-down, the best noodle because they have a hole in the middle that soaks up more sauce. Mmm.
Vegan butter (or sub unsalted butter if not vegan)
Ramps – Adds a combination of garlicky and oniony flavors.
Lemon Juice and Zest – Add a nice zing with the black pepper and ramps.
Black Pepper – Adds that spicy flavor.
Cashew Parmesan – Give this vegan dish that “cheesy-like” flavor.
Adding the Cashew Parmesan is entirely optional, so if you don’t have any on hand or the ingredients to make it, you will still enjoy this flavorful dish. If you happen to have arugula, toss some into this dish to add an extra peppery bite.
I hope you all enjoy this flavorful dish: it’s simple to make, requires only 6 ingredients, and makes a perfect pasta dish for the Springtime when all the wild ramps are in season. ♥
4tbspvegan butteror sub unsalted butter if not vegan
Zest of 1 lemonabout 1 tablespoon
Juice of 1-2 lemonsabout 3 tablespoons
1tablespoonof cashew parmesan to serve
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. Before draining, reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water.
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Separate the ramps by the white root ends and the leafy green tops. Coarsely chop the white root ends and add them to the pan and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add the black pepper and cook 30 seconds to 1 minute, until toasted.
Add the reserved pasta water and bring to a simmer over medium heat and add the cooked pasta. Reduce heat to low and add the lemon juice, zest, and the leafy green tops. Toss until the greens are wilted, and the sauce coats the pasta.
Remove the pan from the heat and divide pasta into 4 bowls. Top with cashew parmesan and extra lemon juice for zing!
Cashew Parmesan: Add 1/4 cup cashews with 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast and a generous pinch of salt to a blender and blend until a fine meal form.