Pasta al Limone (Lemon Pasta)

The other day I was stuck for dinner ideas. I had Mrs Bambola coming over for dinner and the one thing I’d wanted to make was too much effort for last minute. (I’m actually a lazy cook). It’s the middle of the week, I had plans to cook other things as well that evening and my culinary brain cells were taking some time off.

Smitten Kitchen is one of the only blogs I follow that have a good mix of dinners and desserts. It seems my Reader has a sweet tooth. I traipsed all through her blog in the hopes of inspiration. Luckily, I found Lemon Pasta, a very simple, very tasty looking dish. Perfect for a midweek dinner, that’s kind of impressive. I decided I wanted to serve it with a poached egg on top as well. Just for some extra flair.

I know this is the second recipe from Smitten Kitchen now. What can I say? The lady knows her stuff!

Anyway, the pasta!! All it takes is some lemon zest.

Some lemon juice.

Mix it up with cream and olive oil

Toss it with some pasta, basil and romano cheese.

I also poached an egg to go on top. (I won’t tell you I actually poached 4, but only one worked. I was rather upset.)

Or simply with salt and pepper.

Despite not actually having the egg on mine, I think the gooey yolk helps to cut through the acidity of the pasta creating a nice balance. If you don’t like runny yolks, don’t have the egg. Fully cooked yolk just wouldn’t be the same. That being said, it’s completely delicious on it’s own. I inhaled mine!

Pasta al Limone (con Uovo)

Inspired by Smitten Kitchen

Serves 4

  • 1 packet spaghetti/fettucini/pasta of your choice
  • Salt
  • 2-3 lemons
  • 1/4 C extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 C heavy cream
  • 1/2 C finely grated Parmesan cheese (about 1/2 cup), plus additional for serving
  • Ground black pepper
  • Small handful fresh basil
  • 4 eggs
  1. Cook the pasta in well-salted water (think a couple of tablespoons) until al dente tastes in a large pot. As Deb says, use the pot to put the pasta together and you’ll have less washing up.
  2. If you do your poached eggs on the stove, put another saucepan on to boil while the pasta is cooking. Once it comes to the boil, turn the heat right down until you need it.
  3. While the pasta is cooking, zest lemons until you have a little shy of a tablespoon of zest, about 1 lemon. Juice lemons — you’ll have anywhere from 1/3 to 1/2 cup lemon juice. Two lemons produced half a cup of juice for us, so see how you go.
  4. Reserve 1 1/2 cups of pasta cooking water and drain your pasta. Stir in a bit of oil while it sits in the colander so it doesn’t dry out.
  5. Dry out your pot, then boil the olive oil, cream, 1/4 cup of the lemon juice, zest and 1 cup of the reserved pasta water together for two minutes over high heat. Return pasta to pot and stir until coated.
  6. Add the cheese and toss everything together.
  7. Add more pasta water, 1/4 cup at a time, if you’d like your dish a little saucier. It will soak up the sauce as it sits and cools.
  8. Do a taste test to see if you want to add more lemon juice (we used almost all of it). Stir in basil  and season generously with salt and pepper.
  9. Put the lid on the pot of pasta to keep it warm while you get your eggs poached. They only take a few minutes. You can do these however you please.*
  10. Serve bowls of pasta topped with an egg, a little extra olive oil, lots of cracked pepper and a sprinkle of Parmesan (or salt if you accidently used all your parmesan in the pasta).

*One day I’ll do a post on poached eggs.


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