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Spaghetti al Limone

July 16, 2010

Photo by Pat

The hot days of summer are here and I’ve grown tired of salads with crusty breads. It’s time to change it up a bit. Nothing revitalizes my menus more than checking out what others are eating so we packed our bags and headed out to see the family.

The PacNW was on the cool side so cooking with the family was just the ticket. My sister Sharon never claimed to be a cook but is excellent in the kitchen and challenges me to try things I probably wouldn’t have chosen. It’s good to have someone like that in your life.

I arrived with my stack of recipes to work on and she brought the recipes she wanted to share and we were off to the kitchen. Well, the grocery shopping was first then the kitchen. You know how it goes!

Our first dinner featured Italian, a tribute to our favorite trip together in the Tuscan region of Italy. Lush lemon trees and vegetable gardens yielding my favorite herb, basil, made lasting memories from that trip. So, Sharon wanted to cook her favorite Spaghetti al Limone. I countered with fresh Eggplant Parmesan that Carlene, our pastor’s wife, made for dinner before our trip. It was so yummy that I wanted it again. The two would compliment each other perfectly.

Spaghetti al Limone tastes so fresh and is lovely served warm or room temperature. It also pairs well with a beautiful piece of prepared salmon as an alternative to the Eggplant Parmesan.

I’ve chosen to use Whole Grain Rice Pasta (available at Schnuks) instead of the spaghetti pasta listed in the ingredients. I love the rice pasta because it looks like regular pasta and not the brown tones of whole wheat pasta.

But first one tip: The way to tame the sharp bite of the lemon in this pasta dish is to purchase your lemons in advance and allow them to ripen on the kitchen window sill a day or two. It allows the lemons to turn sweeter and your pasta will have a more mellow taste. You should be able to smell the sweetness before cutting into the lemon.

Spaghetti al Limone

Makes 6 large servings

1 pound spaghetti
1 ½ cups parmesan cheese
¾ cup fresh lemon juice (3-4 lemons)
2/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. fresh ground pepper
1-2 tsp. grated lemon zest
2 cups firmly packed basil leaves, chopped


Cook spaghetti according to the package, drain but do not rinse

Prepare the sauce while pasta is cooking by combining the cheese, lemon juice, oil and ground pepper in a food processor. Process the mixture until creamy although there will be small chunks of the cheese remaining. Make it as creamy as possible. Add zest.

Pour sauce over drained pasta and toss. Add the basil, toss again and serve.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Stefania permalink
    February 4, 2011 6:17 pm

    Ti ho trovato per caso, provo a seguire i tuoi suggerimenti, anche se questi cosmetici sembrano sempre tutti uguali. Grazie 🙂

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