so you’d think with a simple recipe like this, i’d be able to whip this up seamlessly in no time. it’s pasta, right? easy!
well…things didn’t go quite as smoothly as i’d anticipated. now, don’t get me wrong. the finished product was good. it was just getting there that was a pain. literally, a pain. i’ll explain after the recipe.
spaghetti with extra virgin olive oil and lemon (adapted from smitten kitchen)
1 lb. whole-wheat spaghetti
1/4 extra virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup finely grated parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
salt, black pepper and italian seasoning to taste (i didn’t have basil or arugula, so i improvised with the seasoning)
cook spaghetti in salted water to your al dente tastes in a large pot.
while pasta is cooking, zest lemons until you have a little less than a tablespoon of zest. juice lemons — you’ll have anywhere from 1/3 to 1/2 cup lemon juice.
drain pasta, reserving 1 1/2 cups of the pasta water.
dry out your pot, then boil the olive oil, cream, zest and 1 cup of the reserved pasta water together for 2 minutes over high heat.
return pasta to pot and stir until coated. add the cheese and 1/4 cup lemon juice and toss everything together. add more pasta water, 1/4 cup at a time. taste a strand of pasta and see if you want to add the remaining lemon juice. stir in italian seasoning, basil or arugula and season generously with salt and pepper.
i’m such a genius! instead of just buying grated parmesan, i decided to buy a block of cheese to grate myself. bad idea. do you have any idea how hard and time-consuming it is to finely grate 1 cup’s worth of cheese? by the end, my arm was throbbing with pain (did i mention i’ve diagnosed myself with carpal tunnel?) and i went to bed with a wrist brace on. oh, the lengths i’ll go to for a pasta craving! many lemon juice spills and other klutzy hijinks ensued. i won’t bore you with details, but it was quite a sight for an onlooker.
despite the heavy cream and cheese, this has a fresh and light flavor that i really like (thumbs up!). it was a bit on the lemony side (i prefer it to have a stronger cheese taste) but that was because i didn’t follow directions and ended up pouring all of the lemon juice, as opposed to a little bit at a time (it just wasn’t my day, ha!). so next time i try this, i’ll have to take it easy with the juice.
and buy pre-grated cheese.