Thursday, March 31, 2011

Linguine with Lemon Sauce

4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1½ cups heavy cream
Grated zest from 3 lemons, see photos below of the zester and the zest
Lemon juice from 3 lemons
1 pound fresh linguine
9 ounces dried thin spaghetti
3 tablespoons salt for the pasta water
1 teaspoon salt for the sauce or to taste
3 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese or other hard cheese, freshly grated at the table

1. Put 6 quarts of water in a large pot and bring it to a boil.
2. While the water is coming to a boil, combine the butter, cream, and lemon juice over low heat in a skillet large enough to hold the pasta later on. As soon as the butter is melted, remove the skillet from the heat, cover, and set aside.
3. When the water is boiling, add 3 tablespoons salt and the pasta, stirring to prevent the pasta from sticking. Cook until tender (fresh pasta won’t take long). Drain, leaving a few drops of water clinging to the pasta so that the sauce will adhere.

4. Transfer the pasta to the skillet, off the heat, and toss to blend. Add the salt, lemon zest, and toss once more. Cover and let rest for 1 to 2 minutes to allow the pasta to absorb the sauce. Transfer to warmed shallow bowls, sprinkle with parsley, and serve immediately. Pass the hunk of cheese with a microplane or a cheese grater for you and your guests to grate as desired.

3-4 servings as a main dish
Adapted from Patricia Wells’ Trattoria

The zester. Of course, you can also use a microplane if you want tiny pieces of zest.
The zest. This is just one lemon's worth.

So great with the silkiness of the pasta:

Simple Sautéed Fresh Spinach or Swiss Chard

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