From Pasta Et Cetera a la di Stasio
Prep time: 10 minutes (time to boil the water and quickly cook the pasta)
1lb/ 454g spaghetti or other long pasta (Ruth’s note: normally I like to cook with multigrain or whole wheat pasta, but this dish really requires white pasta)
Finely grated zest of 2-3 room temperature lemons
Juice of 2 lemons
1 1/3 cups FRESHLY grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Handful of fresh basil, snipped
1. Boil the pasta as directed in lots of salted water. Drain and reserve ½ cup cooking water.
2. While the pasta is cooking prepare the sauce in a large serving bowl. Add lemon zest and juice with cheese and olive oil. Mix well
3. Drain the pasta allowing a little water to cling to the noodles. Place over the sauce in the serving bowl, and toss well. Add the basil and pepper, toss and taste, adding some pasta water if necessary…I rarely find I need it, but always like having some handy just in case.
Some delicious variations from Josee di Stasio…
Lemon & Onion: In a skillet heat equal parts olive oil and butter over medium heat. Sauté 2 chopped onions until translucent NOT brown. Add pasta and lemon sauce, toss and serve.
Lemon Asparagus (I can’t wait until local asparagus season here): In the salted boiling water BEFORE you cook the pasta, cook trimmed asparagus until tender, remove with slotted spoon and rinse under cold running water, chop and reheat with pasta for the last minute of pasta cooking. Add drained pasta and asparagus to lemon sauce, toss and serve.
Lemon Seafood (as Josee says, usually Italians do not mix seafood with Parmesan cheese, but this sounds too good to pass up): While the pasta is cooking, heat oil (olive or lemon olive oil in a hot skillet, sauté shelled shrimps with a pinch or two of hot chili pepper flakes. Spoon over the lemon pasta and serve.