Saturday, September 28, 2013

Spaghettini with Garlic and Lemon

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I love the spare simplicity of Shaker and Bauhaus design, and, on very busy days, I appreciate that same simplicity in my food. Today was a day made busy by a wonderful break in the weather. The almost balmy day kept me outside for far too long and made dinner preparation a rushed affair. On nights like this, I grill a steak or chicken and pair them with a simple, nearly naked, pasta that I like to sauce with lemon and garlic and very little else. It makes for an easy meal that can be on the table in minutes and the leftover pasta is good for a lunch or two as well. The recipe on which my lemon pasta is based originally appeared in Gourmet magazine. Giada De Laurentiis has a similar recipe that is enormously popular with her fans and readers. If you like simply sauced pastas, you'll quickly make this dish your own and not bother with recipes at all. Before you do that, however, there are a few things you'll have to keep in mind. Your first consideration should be the garlic. It burns quickly and should be cooked only until it colors. If it burns, you'll have to toss the oil in which it cooked and that's a waste of time and money. Another concern, especially for those of you who still have young children at the table, is how hot you want the dish to be. The heat here is provided by red pepper flakes and a range of measure is given for their use. Only you know your family's tolerance for heat. Most folks, at least initially, will be more comfortable at the lower end of that range. You also can control the amount of lemon and garlic you use in the recipe. I offer my choices only as suggestions, but, I hasten to add, they are suggestions that work, and they are sound choices for your first execution of the recipe. It's also important to remember that pasta never waits for sauce, the sauce should be waiting for the pasta. I think you'll like this dish. It's inexpensive, easy to make and really tasty. It is also a great entree for Meatless Mondays. Here's my version of the recipe.

Spaghettini with Garlic and Lemon...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite adapted from Gourmet Magazine


1 lb spaghettini or capellini

6 large garlic cloves, minced

1/4 to 3/4 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Finely grated zest of 1 large lemon

Juice of 1 large lemon

1-1/2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


1) Cook pasta in a 6-quart pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Reserve 1 cup cooking water and drain pasta in a colander.

2) While pasta is boiling, cook garlic and red pepper flakes (to taste) in oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until garlic is golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in zest, then juice, salt, pepper, and 1/2 cup reserved cooking water and bring to a simmer.

3) Add pasta and toss with sauce and parsley. Add more water if sauce seems too dry. Yield: 4 main course servings.

You might also enjoy these recipes:

Spaghetti Sauce (Rule of One) - Moogie and Pap

Bolognese Sauce - Radishes and Rhubarb

Fresh Tomato Basil Sauce - Adventures in the Pioneer Valley

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Sauce - Simply Recipes

Fresh Tomato and Zucchini Pasta Sauce - Coconut and Lime

Pork Bolognese - A Dash of Sass

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