Spaghetti with Lemon and Olive Oil
This recipe for a light citrusy spaghetti from Smitten Kitchen’s post from February 24, 2011. It looks wonderful and reminds me of a pasta I loved in Florence on my last trip there – a real food memory. In fact, I loved it so much that we ate at the restaurant twice in four days! This would be perfect for a last minute dinner with friends – just add a simple salad, some crusty bread and you’re done! The very short ingredient list and very simple directions are perfect and could be paired with a light white wine – perhaps a crisp Sauvignon Blanc?
- 1 pound spaghetti or linguine
- 3 lemons
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil , plus additional for serving
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 ounce finely grated Parmesan cheese (about 1/2 cup), plus additional for serving
- Ground black pepper
- Small handful fresh basil or arugula (what I used, deliciously, in a pinch) leaves, shredded
Cook linguine or spaghetti in well-salted water to your al dente tastes in a large, wide-bottomed pot. You’ll have fewer dishes to wash if you use this pot to assemble the dish as well.
While pasta is cooking, zest lemons until you have a little shy of a tablespoon of zest.
Juice lemons — you’ll have anywhere from 1/3 to 1/2 cup lemon juice.
Drain pasta, reserving 1 1/2 cups of pasta cooking water.
Dry out your pot, then boil the olive oil, cream, zest and 1 cup of the reserved pasta water together for two minutes over high heat.
Return pasta to pot and stir until coated.
Add the cheese and 1/4 cup lemon juice and toss, toss, toss everything together.
Add more pasta water, 1/4 cup at a time, if you’d like your dish a little looser.
Quickly taste a strand of pasta and see if you want to add the remaining lemon juice (we did).
Stir in basil or arugula and season generously with salt and pepper. Then serve immediately, drizzling individual portions with a bit of extra olive oil and sprinkling with extra Parmesan cheese.