meatless monday . #23 {lemon spaghetti}

The last several months I’ve seen about three different bloggers post recipes for lemon pasta.  Then I saw recipes in a couple of magazines and Gwyneth Paltrow’s cookbook.  Thought I would see what all the fuss was about.  Did a little research and it turns out different people have very different ways of making this dish.  Some heat the sauce, some use cream, some use lots of zest, some throw in blanched vegetables.  Here’s my version with some arugula thrown in.  Had some leftover from a few days ago I needed to use up.  The peppery flavor worked really well with the lemon and basil.  I really liked the fact that this is such a quick meal to make.  In the amount of time it takes to heat the pasta water and cook the spaghetti, you can make the sauce and still have time to make a salad {tonight, for us, it was Mike’s favorite, caprese with my twist – fresh avocado slices}. And it was very flavorful…much more than I thought it would be.  It’s such a nice, light summery dish that I think kids would really like, too.  You can make this with any long noodle – capellini, linguini, bucatini.  I think spaghetti is just the right thickness, though.  If you want a dinner with more protein, this would be excellent topped with a pan seared boneless, skinless chicken breast!
Lemon Spaghetti
serves 4
1 lb. spaghetti
zest of 1 lemon
½ cup fresh lemon juice  {about 3 lemons}
6 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, finely minced
3/4 cup grated parmesan
kosher salt
fresh ground pepper
1/3 cup basil leaves, finely chopped
1 ½ cup baby arugula
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil.  Add spaghetti noodles and cook until al dente, about 7 minutes. While pasta is cooking, add 1 tbsp. of olive oil to a small sauté pan and cook garlic over medium heat until fragrant, about 60 seconds. In a separate bowl, whisk lemon juice, zest, remaining olive oil and garlic.  Stir in the parmesan; salt and pepper to taste. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water then drain the noodles, returning them to the pot {off the heat}.   Add the lemon sauce to the noodles and toss to coat, adding a little reserved pasta cooking water if needed to keep the noodles well sauced. Toss in the basil and arugula; serve.

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