Pasta is one of my favorite weeknight dinners. Most sauces, whether it be something classic like carbonara or different such as sun-dried tomato cream, come together in no time at all. The latest recipe to be added to my pasta rotation? This vegetarian-friendly lemon spaghetti. The just-cooked pasta is tossed with a creamy lemon-garlic sauce, tons of grated parmesan cheese, and a heavy sprinkling of fresh herbs. On its own, it's a delightfully light dinner; however, it would make an excellent side to grilled chicken or shrimp. I prefer to enjoy it with a chilled glass of sparkling Rosé. Here's the uncomplicated technique!
1 pound spaghetti
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 3 turns of the pan
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 lemons, zested and juiced
1/2 to 3/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
Handful flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1/2 cup (10 or 12 leaves) fresh basil, very thinly sliced
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water and drop the spaghetti into the pot.
- Heat a large deep skillet over low heat. Add extra-virgin olive oil and garlic and crushed red pepper flakes.
- When the pasta has been cooking about 5 minutes, add lemon juice, a ladle of the cooking water from the pasta and the cream to the garlic and oil. Raise heat a bit to bring sauce to a bubble.
- Drain pasta when it still has a good bite to it, al dente.
- Add lemon zest and half of the cheese to the cream sauce. Season the sauce with salt, to taste. Add pasta to pan and turn off heat.
- Toss the pasta with sauce a minute or 2, allowing it time to soak up the sauce.
- Top the plates of pasta or platter with remaining cheese, parsley and basil.
- Main Dishes, Pasta