Sunday Pasta®: Spaghetti al Limone (Lemon)
Starchitects Brian Bockman and Jack Forbes were recently visiting from New Orleans. There, they design hip Garden District homes and contemplate building a bright future with Brangelina in a thriving post-Katrina city. Here, among other things, they taught me about the hidden evil that lurks in FF&A (furnishings, fixtures, and accessories) which, if you have any taste, should cost more than the home itself. Who knew?
Jack was recently in Rome where he tried spaghetti al limone, and hence this was his request for Sunday Pasta at chez Garrubbo. It seems a quintessential summer dish, even though it really isn’t that light.
Below is the recipe, which I’ve done many times before. This week, however, I decided that measuring is for amateurs and went heavy on the lemon zest (a mistake) and used vodka instead of grappa (a mistake) and just dumped in the cheese (a mistake). Yes, it still tasted good, but the lesson here is that when dealing with bold flavors, bright colors, and big personalities, it’s better to measure and proceed with caution.
Make zest from one lemon (by finely grating the peel) and set aside. Juice two lemons, with pulp. In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook the grappa (or wine) with the butter and lemon juice and 1/2 of the zest. When reduced and thickened a bit, add the cream, and a bit of salt and pepper, then cook until further reduced (3-5) minutes on low heat. Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti until al dente, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water.
Drain the pasta and add to the pan with with the lemon cream sauce, adding a little of the reserved cooking water only if it seems too dry. When mixed together, place the spaghetti in a warm serving bowl and toss in the parmigiano. Serve with a sprinkle of the remaining zest for garnish over each bowl.