For his gnocchi recipe, Urbanic simmers his own roasted garlic gnocchi in boiling water. While they cook, he sautés the diced and blanched ramps in olive oil for several minutes, and then adds a little white wine to the pan. He splashes in a teaspoon of heavy whipping cream and stirs to form a creamy ramp sauce.
He tosses the gnocchi in the ramp sauce and plates the mixture. He tops it with crispy morels and a few slivers of bacon.
"There are still some ramps out there, although the season has just about passed," he said. "I like ramps and morels together. They make a great springtime combination."
He whips up one more dish using the morels he prepared in the traditional way. He tops polenta made with locally grown bloody butcher cornmeal in a browned butter and sage sauce and the morels.
To make the sauce, he slowly heats butter in a medium hot skillet until it browns, but doesn't smoke. He tosses in fresh sage leaves to crisp and adds salt and pepper to taste.
He pours the sauce over fried polenta triangles and finishes the dish with a handful of crispy morels.
Urbanic also works morels into creamy sauces to serve with dishes such as veal saltimbocca, a veal scaloppini slice rolled with sage leaves and prosciutto.
"We are so spoiled here -- we have so many morels," Urbanic said. "I won't waste any of them that come our way. We work them into as many dishes as we can."
Reach Julie Robinson at jul...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1230.