Have you ever read Cook’s Illustrated? Compared to other magazines that enter our house one way or another (Southern Living, Better Homes and Gardens, Good Housekeeping, &c.) Cook’s Illustrated is very different. In fact, it seems to be the least illustrated magazine around.
But I have nothing but high praise for this magazine. So far I have loved everything that we have made out of it, including this Spaghetti al Limone.
Spaghetti al Limone
from Rachel Toomey Kelsey in Cook’s Illustrated, Number 108 (January & February 2011)
- Table salt
- 1 pound spaghetti
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
- 1 medium shallot, minced (about 3 tablespoons)
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest and ¼ cup juice from 2 lemons
- 1 ounce finely grated Parmesan cheese (about ½ cup), plus more for serving
- Ground black pepper
- 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 [check the pasta package for details; ours took 9 minutes]. Reserve 1¾ 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 ½ teaspoon salt; cook until shallot is softened, about 2 minutes. Whisk 1½ cups of reserved pasta cooking water and cream into pot; bring to simmer and cook for 2 minutes. Remove pot from heat, return pasta, and stir until coated [we were slightly worried at this point because the sauce seemed too runny, but it turned out just fine in the end]. Stir in remaining 3 tablespoons oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, cheese, and ½ teaspoon pepper.
Cover and let pasta stand 2 minutes, tossing frequently and adjusting consistency with remaining ¼ cup reserved pasta water if necessary [we didn’t need to add any extra pasta water after mixing it all together]. Stir in basil and season with salt and pepper to taste [we didn’t have any fresh basil on hand, so left it out]. Serve, drizzling individual portions with oil and sprinkling with cheese.