I came across this pasta recipe on America’s Test Kitchen, which is one of Joanie and my FAVORITE websites! I watched the video and could almost taste the lemon and basil. My mouth was watering, I had to make it. I was slightly skeptical that it wouldn’t turn out very flavorful because it uses pasta water and a splash of heavy cream for the main ingredients in the sauce. Boy was I wrong! This pasta is a really good summer time dish. It’s very light and refreshing, tasting of lemony tartness and fresh basil! I’m in LOVE!! I usually tweak a few things in recipes to suit to my taste, for this one I doubled the parmesan and added a little more lemon zest. If you are preparing this recipe for less than 6 people you might want to cut recipe in half, unless you want leftovers. The recipe says it feeds 4-6. Using a whole pound of pasta, this recipe feeds at least 8, especially if you’re using it as a side dish.
This makes a quick and easy weeknight meal, taking only minutes more than the time it takes to cook the pasta. Buon appetito!! ~Janna
1 Lb spaghetti
1/4 C extra virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
1 medium shallot, minced (about 3 tablespoons)
1/4 heavy cream
2 Tsp finely grated lemon zest and 1/4 of fresh lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
2 Oz finely grated parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
ground black pepper
2 Tbs finely shredded fresh basil leaves
Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a dutch oven or large pot. Add 1 tablespoon salt and pasta to boiling water, cook stirring frequently until cooked al dente, about 7 minutes. Reserve 1 3/4 cups of the pasta water, drain pasta and set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in the now empty pot over medium heat until oil is shimmering and hot. Add shallot and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook until shallot is softened, about 2 minutes.
Whisk 1 1/2 cups of reserved pasta water and cream into pot. Bring to simmer and cook for 2 minutes. Remove pot from heat, return pasta to pot and stir until coated. Stir in remaining 3 tablespoons of oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, cheese and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.
Cover and let pasta stand for 2 minutes, tossing frequently and adjusting consistency with remaining 1/4 pasta water if necessary.
Stir in fresh basil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve, drizzling individual portion with oil, a sprinkle of cheese and a bit more basil.