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pasta with garlic, olive oil, and lemon

February 7, 2011

This is one of those recipes I’d been meaning to try for a while, but just never got around to. Strangely, it’s also one of the simplest recipes I’ve made, so you’d think it wouldn’t take much to get around to it. But the thing is, it’s too simple, and I didn’t want to squander a turn in the kitchen on anything that, you know, doesn’t take my entire day to cook up. 

But then there were the overly-complicated (but delicious) stuffed chicken breasts and their attendant needs for a starch-side (and also a veggie, but we’ll get to that later) that didn’t need much tending. Enter the yum!

Chris was a little bit apprehensive of putting that much garlic into one dish, but as a garlic-obsesser, I knew better. Its post-sautee warmth worked really nicely with the bite of the red pepper flakes and the tang of the lemon juice. The freshness and simplicity of the flavors went well with the richness of the chicken, and it did, indeed, come together quickly. A good alternative, overall, to jarred tomato sauce.

Pasta with Garlic, Olive Oil, and Lemon
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
9 medium garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon dried red hot pepper flakes
1 lb. linguine, fettuccine, or spaghetti [Josie suggests making the pasta by hand, which you could probably do if you wanted to convert this into an all-day main course, but again, I was trying on simplicity for a change, here.]
4 teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese 

1. Bring 4 quarts water to boil in a large pot for cooking the pasta. 
2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring often, until golden but not browned, about 4 minutes. The garlic will become bitter if browned, so it should remain a deep golden color. 
3. Stir in half the lemon juice, 1 teaspoon of salt, and the red pepper flakes. Cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute, then remove from heat and cover to keep warm. 
4. When the water comes to a boil, add salt to taste and the pasta. Cook until al dente, then drain. 
5. Add the pasta to the skillet with the oil and garlic and mix well. Divide among individual serving bowls and top with remaining lemon juice and the Parmesan. Serve immediately.

Source: Pink Parsley Catering 

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