Lemon Parmesan Spaghetti

Oh the holiday season, I just love it.  The decorations, twinkle lights, music, shopping, presents and the baking, oh the baking.  It just makes me jolly.  It truly is the season of giving in my opinion, and I love to give, especially edible items from my kitchen.  I have some super fun recipes and gift items to share in the holiday sweets and treats department, so stay tuned!

In the midst of shopping, errand running and preparing for family events, weeknight home cooking seems to take a back seat at this time of year.  I always love to rely on easy, yet comforting recipes during busy times.  Pasta is always my stand by.  It’s always in the pantry, and it just makes you feel warm and cozy, especially when dousted with cheese.  This recipe is easy, fast and cheap.  You will most likely have all of the ingredients in your house, with the exception of basil, which is an easy store-pick-up on your (or your husband’s) ride home from work.
 There are many variations of this lemon parmesan pasta, but I particularly love the tartness of the lemon juice and zest with the rich and peppery parmesan flavor.  I also love the addition of reserved pasta water to make an incredibly easy, yet creamy sauce.  This one is a keeper…

You will need:
3/4 box of spaghetti (I used whole wheat)
coarse salt
juice & zest of 1 lemon
1 1/2 cups Parmesan cheese, finely grated (fresh is always best)
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 to 3/4 cup reserved pasta water
large handful fresh basil, roughly chopped

Boil the spaghetti in salted water according to package directions.

Meanwhile, grate the zest from the lemon into a large mixing bowl.  Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice into the bowl (watch for seeds!).  Add the Parmesan, pepper and a pinch of salt and stir.  Add in the olive oil to form a wet paste.

When the pasta is cooked, be sure to reserve your water before draining.  Add 1/4 cup of the water to the lemon/cheese mixture; stir to combine.  Add the spaghetti to the bowl and toss thoroughly.  Add water in 2 tablespoon increments as necessary until you reach your desired  consistency.  Sprinkle with fresh basil, a bit of salt and heck, some more cheese, and voila, easy peasy weeknight meal!

Serves: 4
Time: 20 minutes
From: Gwyneth Paltrow’s My Father’s Daughter via Epicurious

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One Comment

  1. Posted December 15, 2011 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    love love love gwynnie’s cookbook. i like to pretend we’re friends.

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