The other day I was watching a video on Late Night Eats in Downtown NYC, as you do in your free time. Literally, in my free time, I am watching something about food, or reading about it or researching. Anyway, so this mindless video watching was happening on a lazy Saturday afternoon – and the one thing that I saw and which stuck with me from that episode was the feature of Pasta Al Limone. I had this beauty of a dish for the first time in a tiny, rustic restaurant in Italy, and 6 years since, the taste still lingers in my mouth.
When I saw this episode, I instantly felt the pang to make this Spaghetti Al Limone and devour it. It is the kind of comfort food that embraces you in a hug, that you just want to eat and close your eyes while you enjoy the flavors, melting away in your mouth. It’s like a melody so beautiful, that is almost like a holy food experience. Even if you create it in your kitchen. Believe it, it’s totally possible.
This is a recipe with such few ingredients, and that can be put together so easily, I promise you after reading this, you would want to make it and eat it for your next meal.
- Spaghetti -250 g (or any other long pasta. You can use tagliatelle, fettuccine or linguine too)
- Garlic – 1 large clove, sliced or finely chopped (The traditional recipe doesn’t call for it, but I like the flavor it brings)
- Salted butter – 50 gm
- Double cream – 200 ml
- Parmesan – freshly grated, 60 gm
- Lemon – 1, zest and juice
- Parsley – ideally flat leaf, but I have used curly parsley, small handful, finely chopped
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste.
Place a large saucepan of water (needs to be salted, add about 3 tbsp of salt) over high heat, and bring to the boil. Add the pasta and cook according to packet instructions.
While the pasta is cooking add 1 tbsp of butter and garlic to a pan and let the garlic get fragrant. Turn off the heat, add lemon zest along with the cream. Turn the flame back on, simmer for 3-4 minutes until slightly reduced, stirring often. Add the rest of the butter, stir to combine. The butter should instantly melt into the liquid.
Scoop the pasta into the sauce along with a little cooking liquid (starch water), toss to coat the pasta in the sauce, simmer for a minute or two until the pasta has absorbed most of the liquid.
Remove from the heat and stir through two-thirds of the cheese, little by little, keeping a little back for garnish. Squeeze in the lemon juice, stir through and season to taste. Serve straight away in bowls with the remaining cheese and parsley sprinkled over the top.