Saturday, July 9, 2011

Spaghetti with Lemon & Olive Oil

     It's been a few days since my last post on here (which, sadly, was not even a recipe), and that would be because I have been slowing down on the cooking this week.  You see, my pantry seems to be overflowing with cereal, and my refrigerator is still full of some leftover lasagna noodle trimmings (which taste perfectly delightful re-warmed with some parmesan and olive oil, might I add) so I've decided to hold off on the makings of new things until the older ones have been depleted somewhat.
     However, I still have quite a few pre-blogging-days recipes stored up, and since I mentioned in an earlier post that I would put this one it is!  A simple pasta dish for those nights when you want something filling (without being a total heavyweight) that won't take you 9 years to make.  It was served by me to two good friends for dinner, and I'm glad I halved the recipe-it serves about 4 this way, so I didn't have tons of leftovers to haunt my then-overcrowded refrigerator.

     I'm sure I'll give this one another go sometime, so photos will be posted at a later date as I did not take pictures of my meals before I began this blog. ;)

     So, the big deal with this recipe is that it involves lemon-which can be great, or it can, in fact, go horribly sour. (I'm so sorry. I had to do it.)  Ahem...anyway, I was over-trusting on the previous chef's instructions (she started light with the lemon but ended up using the whole amount), which led to an EXTREMELY lemon-y, slightly bitter sauce/dressing.  Luckily after dousing the thing with more olive oil until it was toned back down & adding copious amounts of salt (which I would have done anyway) I was able to even-out the ingredient proportions again, and I have to say-the stuff was SO delicious!  Despite not being a white sauce, it tasted nice and creamy, and I ended up being a bit sad someone else claimed the remaining portion before I could go back for seconds.  So, overall-delicious, but increase your lemon amounts little by little with lots of taste-testing.  (More notes in the actual recipe). Oh, the original recipe I followed called for a big of fresh basil or arugula, but whilst I went out and purchased some, after the lemon ordeals I COMPLETELY forgot to throw the stuff in at the end, but I liked it enough so that I'm going to go ahead and just write it in as optional, and give you all the recipe as I made it, more or less.

Spaghetti with Lemon & Olive Oil adapted from Smitten Kitchen:

1/2 pound spaghetti or linguine
2 Lemons (for zest and 1/4-1/4 cups juice)
2 Tbls extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for serving (or to taste, if you find the lemon overwhelming)
3 Tbls heavy cream
1/2 cup (1 oz) finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus additional for serving if desired
Ground black pepper
Optional: Shredded basil or arugula leaves (I did not use)

  1. Cook pasta in well-salted water in a large, wide pot according to instructions (until al dente).
  2. Zest lemons-about 1/2 tablespoon will do the trick.  Then juice one lemon-if you find you want a stronger lemon taste later, go ahead and juice half the second, and so on.  But taste frequently to avoid a very bitter dinner if you aren't keen on acidic fruits!
  3. Drain pasta and reserve 3/4 cup of the pasta cooking water.  Once the pot is emptied, fill it with olive oil, cream, zest, and 1 cup of the pasta water for two minutes over high heat.
  4. Return pasta to pot and stir until coated. Add the parmesan and lemon juice and stir until everything is well mixed.  If you'd prefer a thinner "sauce" add small amounts of remaining pasta water.
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste and garnish with extra parmesan (and herbs if using), serve while still warm.
That's all for now, thought I'd keep this post short & sweet since I have no accompanying photos. Give it a whirl sometime though-like I said, it's easy and delicious, and therefore perfect for small gatherings or just for a few night's worth of dinners!

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