Monday, October 25, 2010

Tagliolini al Limone

Why is it that the best pasta sauces have the simplest ingredients? This is one of them. It's absolutely delicious and couldn't be simpler. Lovely, light, luscious, and creamy, it's an addictive lemony treat. A quintessential summer dish from the Amalfi coast in the Campania region of southern Italy (where they grow exquisite lemons), Tagliolini al Limone is like sunshine on a plate. Perfect on it's own, or with grilled seafood, it was so good that I ordered every time we ate at a small restaurant in Rome, followed by a fabulous plate of grilled langoustine. Ah, la dolce vita.

Tagliolini al Limone

Serves 4

1 lb Tagliolini pasta
6 tbsp butter
1/4 cup fresh lemon zest (4 lemons) plus juice of one lemon
1 cup fresh cream
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus extra for sprinkling
Fresh ground white and black pepper

Bring a large pot of water to boil. In a large sauté pan, bring the butter and cream to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the lemon juice, white pepper and lemon zest, and reduce by about half. Then remove from the heat. Add the pasta to the water and cook al dente. Drain the pasta, add to the lemon butter, and toss to coat over medium heat. Add the cheese and toss a few more seconds. Pour into heated bowls, garnish with some lemon curls and a grinding of black pepper. Serve immediately with some additional cheese.

COOK'S NOTE: Italians tend to cook their pasta less, so it still offers resistance to the 'bite', more than I think we North Americans are used to. I'm guilty of the crime, but I have been trying to cook my pasta less and it makes a real difference. Try it and see, and let me know what you think.