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Friday, June 3, 2011

I am learning that one of the good things about cooking, writing about cooking, and talking about cooking, is that people start thinking of you whenever they come across a great recipe. Just the other day a friend of mine told me about a pasta recipe that she tried, and that she thought I would like. She got it from Cooks Illustrated, and forwarded the recipe to me.

I thought I would make it for dinner one night last week, but that entire day turned out to be a comedy of errors. Just one part of the day involved me going to the market and returning with all the ingredients... for something else. Needless to say, we didn't eat that pasta dish for dinner that night.

Skip forward to today, where I have made it to the market (again), come back with the correct ingredients (for a change), and I have a good opportunity to cook dinner for just the five of us (instead of barbecuing for a whole neighborhood).

This felt like one of those recipes where you have been wanting to make it forever. In reality, it has only been a week or so since my friend first mentioned it to me, and less than that since she sent me the recipe. Regardless, I finally got to the point where I was actually able to cook and eat Spaghetti al Limone. And boyohboy am I happy about that! It was absolutely worth waiting for!

Spaghetti al Limone 

Published January 1, 2011.   From Cook's Illustrated.
  • Table salt
  • 1pound spaghetti
  • 1/4cup extra virgin olive oil , plus more for serving
  • 1medium shallot , minced (about 3 tablespoons)
  • 1/4cup heavy cream
  • 2teaspoons finely grated zest and 1/4 cup juice from 3 lemons
  • 1ounce finely grated Parmesan cheese (about 1/2 cup), plus more for serving
  • Ground black pepper
  • 2tablespoons shredded fresh basil leaves
  1. 1. Bring 4 quarts water to boil in large Dutch oven over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon salt and pasta to boiling water; cook, stirring frequently, until al dente. Reserve 1¾ cups cooking water, drain pasta into colander, and set aside.
  2. 2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in now-empty Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add shallot and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook until shallot is softened, about 2 minutes. Whisk 1 1/2 cups of reserved pasta cooking water and cream into pot; bring to simmer and cook for 2 minutes. Remove pot from heat, return pasta, and stir until coated. Stir in remaining 3 tablespoons oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, cheese, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
  3. 3. Cover and let pasta stand 2 minutes, tossing frequently and adjusting consistency with remaining 1/4 cup reserved pasta water if necessary. Stir in basil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve, drizzling individual portions with oil and sprinkling with cheese.