If, like the Velveteen Rabbit, the sign of a good recipe is wear and tear from years of use, this one is a real winner. Crack open my copy of O, The Oprah Magazine Cookbook, and you'll likely land on page 190, spaghetti al limone (spaghetti with lemon). Splattered with drops of olive oil and slightly crinkled, it's clear that its made many an appearance at my table.
Here's why: while the ingredient list (and time commitment) is simple, the results are not. Here, each addition to the bowl counts. Lemon offers up both its fragrant zest and mouth-puckering juice, grassy olive oil adds gloss, nutty parmesan rounds it out, and basil brightens. And the best part? If you have time to boil water and dump a box of spaghetti in the pot, you have time to make this Oprah-endorsed pasta dish.
Long noodles like bucatini, fettuccine, or angel hair can be substituted for the spaghetti.
- 1 pound spaghetti
- 1 1/2 cups parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- 3/4 cup lemon juice (3 to 4 lemons), freshly squeezed
- 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest, finely grated
- 2 cups basil leaves, firmly packed and chiffonade
- In a large pot, cook spaghetti in salted, boiling water until al dente. Place a colander over a large heat-safe mixing bowl, then drain spaghetti into it (hot water will warm bowl). Pour water from bowl, wipe bowl dry, then empty spaghetti into it.
- Meanwhile, combine cheese and lemon juice in a small mixing bowl. Gradually beat in olive oil until mixture becomes thick and creamy and cheese "melts" into oil. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in lemon zest.
- Pour sauce over cooked spaghetti in serving bowl, and toss thoroughly. Add basil, toss again, and serve.
- Pasta, Main Dishes
- 6 servings