For Christmas last year, my foodie friend Monica and I got each other subscriptions to Cook’s Illustrated. I have been wanting this magazine for a while because it has tons of tips on technique and recipes in it. And my first issue did not disappoint, especially since it had a recipe for spaghetti al limone in it. We often order this dish from Supper, a fantastic little Italian restaurant in our neighborhood, and it’s always perfect. But I started thinking I could probably make my own version using the Cook’s Illustrated recipe. And on Saturday night I did:
Wow, this recipe is definitely a keeper. It was hard to stop eating it! The sauce is slightly creamy with just the right amount of lemon flavor. I used Locatelli romano instead of parmiggiano but otherwise I followed the recipe exactly, using fresh pasta from Russo’s, my favorite Italian deli. For added protein, I grilled some chicken, diced it up and added it to the pasta. This dish will definitely be making it into my pasta rotation!
Spaghetti al Limone (from Cook’s Illustrated)
1 pound spaghetti
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
1 medium shallot, minced (about 3 tablespoons)
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest and 1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
2 tablespoons shredded fresh basil leaves.
Bring 4 quarts water to boil in large Dutch oven over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon salt and pasta to boiling water, cook, stirring frequently, until al dente. Reserve 1 3/4 cups cooking water, drain pasta into colander and set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in now-empty Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add shallot and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook until shallot is softened, about 2 minutes. Whisk 1 1/2 cups of reserved pasta cooking water and cream into pot; bring to a simmer and cook for 2 minutes. Remove pot from heat, return pasta and stir until coated. Stir in remaining 3 tablespoons of oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, cheese, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
Cover and let pasta stand 2 minutes, tossing frequestly and adjusting consistency with remaining 1/4 cup reserved pasta water if necessary. Stir in basil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.