I adore citrusy flavors, especially that of the oh-so-versatile lemon. From appetizers to desserts, this sunny yellow fruit enhances just about anything to which it is added. And summer is a particularly great time to savor the tart and refreshing flavor of lemon. One of my very favorite lemon recipes involves another food that I love, namely pasta. Rachael Ray's Lemon Spaghetti couldn't be simpler, and it is so good I could live on just this one dish. If you haven't tried the recipe yet and you too are a fan of lemons, be prepared to fall in love!
1 lb. spaghetti
3 T. olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)
2 lemons, zested and juiced
1/2-3/4 C. heavy cream
1 C. grated Parmesan
1/4 C. chopped fresh parsley
1/2 C. chopped fresh basil
Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over low heat, then add the garlic and red pepper flakes. When the pasta has cooked for about 5 minutes, add the lemon juice and a ladleful of the pasta cooking water (at least 1/2 C.) to the skillet with the cream. Turn up the heat to bring the sauce to a bubble.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta 5 minutes more, then drain, reserving another 1/2 C. of the cooking water. Add the lemon zest and half of the cheese to the sauce and season with salt to taste. Add the pasta and remove the skillet from the heat. Toss the pasta for a couple of minutes and allow it to absorb the sauce, adding more pasta water if it seems too dry. Serve with the remaining cheese and the herbs sprinkled on top. Serves 6.
Update: I used shredded rather than grated Parmesan, which ended up clumping in the sauce. Next time I will not stir the cheese into the sauce, but will add it to the pasta after stirring the sauce in. I think that this will distribute the cheese better. I stirred the herbs into the pasta as well instead of sprinkling them on top for this reason.