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 up...here 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)
- Cook pasta in well-salted water in a large, wide pot according to instructions (until al dente).
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!