Monday, July 21, 2008
This is the first time I've tried this recipe. It's from Everyday Italian, by Giada De Laurentiis. I love her cookbook, and I love that this recipe is from a section of the book called "Fresh From the Pantry." It's perfect for those nights, like this one, when you have absolutely no dinner plans, don't really feel like cooking anything, but can't bring yourself to serve mac & cheese or hot dogs yet again.
I had a partial package of farfalle (bow-ties) so I used that instead of spaghetti. No matter. This dish is fresh and "bright" and tangy and light, perfect for a hot summer's night. Or any night, honestly. Give it a try.
Incidentally, my almost-five-year-old son, who initially claimed "But I don't like lemon" (right! this from the Lemonade King!) is now devouring his bowl of pasta.
"One of the easiest pasta dishes you'll ever make, this is great as a light meal or as a side dish, especially for grilled fish." (in that case, you might try it with this Grilled Margarita Tilapia!)
4 main-course servings or 6 side-dish servings
2/3 cup olive oil
2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 2 lemons)~I used ReaLemon
3/4 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1 pound dried spaghetti
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (from about 2 lemons)~I didn't have this.
In a large bowl, whisk the oil, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, 3/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper to blend. Set the lemon sauce aside. (The sauce can be made up to 8 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before using.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender but still firm to the bite. Drain, carefully reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Add the spaghetti to the lemon sauce, and toss with the basil and lemon zest. Toss the pasta with enough reserved cooking liquid, 1/4 cup at a time, to moisten. **I think because I didn't have quite a pound of pasta, I didn't need any extra liquid at all.**
Season the pasta with more salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to bowls and serve.