My husband was on vacation the last two weeks and took over the kitchen. This was a mixed blessing. On the plus side, he’s a damn fine cook. I’m keeping him.
On the negative side, his meals tend to be a little caveman-ish. You know? Meat. Lots and lots of meat. I’m a little over meat right now. So tonight I made up this Lemon Garlic Spaghetti and it was FABULOUS. Even the meat eater loved it.
Lemon Garlic Spaghetti
1 lb dried spaghetti
3 garlic cloves, minced
7-8 basil leaves, chiffonade
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus 1 tbsp for sautéing garlic
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/2 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for on top of pasta
1 1/2 cups reserved pasta water
Place a large pot of salted water on stove and bring to boil. While waiting for water to boil, toast pine nuts in a small sauté pan over medium high heat until they begin to brown. Remove from heat and set aside. Mince garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes in 1 tbsp olive oil until soft and just starting to turn golden, set aside. Cut a chiffonade of basil and place in prep bowl. Zest three lemons, so that you have at least 1 tbsp of lemon zest, and squeeze juice through small strainer. You should have at least 1/2 cup of lemon juice.
When water comes to boil, place spaghetti in water and cook until al dente. Reserve 1 1/2 cups of pasta water and then pour pasta into strainer and wipe out pot so that it’s dry and place back on burner over medium-high heat. Add 1 cup of reserved water, olive oil, heavy cream, sautéed garlic, and lemon zest and bring to boil for two minutes. Add pasta back into pot and toss well. Pour 1/4 cup lemon juice over pasta, 1/2 cup grated Parmesan and toasted pine nuts and continue to toss until liquid is absorbed. This is a good time to taste test and see if you want it more “lemony”. If so, add remaining lemon juice and remainder of pasta water if you find your pasta too dry. Toss in basil as final step. Serve with sprinkling of Parmesan on top.