recipes at random

Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime. Give him ramen noodles, and you don’t have to teach him anything. - Lawrence Downes

Thursday, March 22, 2007


Pasta with lemon, olives, and fresh basil

I'm trying to clear out all the wheat, grain, and legume products from my house before Passover, so I figure I'd better prioritize eating the wonderful homemade spinach fettucine I have in the freezer. This sauce seems worthy...

Some hints from the authors of the recipe: "The tiny bit of cream in this recipe contributes to its smooth appealing texture. You can control the tartness by adding as much lemon juice as you like. Sweet basil adds to the authentic Mediterranean flavor. [on the other hand:] Parsley can be substituted for basil; it always pairs well with lemons." (I never heard of Taggiasche olives, but I have a variety of nice olives from the deli across the street.)

You know what else might be good in this? Frozen artichoke hearts.

12 ounces spaghettini, spaghetti, fettuccine, or tagliolini (egg pasta is delicious, too)
4 tablespoons sour cream, creme fraiche, or regular cream
Salt and pepper to taste
Zest of 1 lemon finely grated or cut into small julienne (I only use organic lemons for zesting)
3 tablespoons olive oil
Juice from 2 lemons (adjust according to size)
4 ounces freshly-grated Parmesan Reggiano
1 or 2 garlic cloves finely chopped (depends on the size of the clove)
20 to 25 Taggiasche olives (Kalamata are also fine cut into small slivers)
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces if they are too large
Extra-virgin Olive Oil

Cook the pasta in rapidly boiling salted water until al dente, then drain. Toss with the sour cream, then with salt, pepper and lemon zest. Working quickly, toss with the olive oil, lemon juice, Parmesan Reggiano, garlic and olives. Transfer to a serving dish and scatter with the basil. Add a thin stream of excellent Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Serve at once, with extra lemon and Parmesan for those who desire it. Serve in heated pasta bowls if possible.


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