Wednesday, August 25, 2010

EVERYTHING Is Better With Lemon On It

Good evening everyone! Tonight, Maggie took to the kitchen to try a recipe that had me intrigued. All she told me about tonight's recipe was that it was "lemon spaghetti". Naturally, anything that includes lemon instantly perks my interest. I'm a well documented lemon fan (in fact, I think it's the number one used fruit on the blog!) so Maggie was playing to a good crowd with her recipe tonight. But, I did wonder, how were the flavors of lemon and spaghetti going to combine? In word - superbly. I'll turn the keyboard over to Maggie so she can share the process with you.

The Recipe: Lemon Spaghetti
Original Recipe Found In: Everyday Italian: 125 Simple and Delicious Recipes

What You'll Need:

2/3 Cup Olive Oil
2/3 Cup Parmesan Cheese
1/2 Cup Fresh Lemon Juice (2 Lemons)
3/4 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Fresh Pepper
1 Pound Spaghetti
1/3 Cup Basil
1 Tablespoon Lemon Zest (2 Lemons)

Good evening everybody!  With T minus 10 days left to go for the wedding, I wanted to create something tonight that was rather simple and that did not have a lot of steps.  Naturally, I don't go to Giada for these kinds of recipes because I know that she has rather long and drawn out steps to create an elaborate dish.  But once I read this particular recipe, I knew it was the one for this evening.

I began heating a large pot of water for my pasta.  Whilst that began to heat up, I began to zest my lemons.  I think I must have a defect and am not able to zest lemons with a zester, so I searched for an alternative to zest lemons without the zester.  I found out that using a potato peeler works just as great, but one has to make sure not to "peel" all the way down to the white part of the lemon (or the pith, as I was informed writing this section by my lovely fiancee.)  Once you get the desired zest, make sure to cut down to size so they are edible and not long strings of lemon peel.


After zesting is complete, the water should be up to a boil now - add the one pound of spaghetti.  It may seem a lot, but the sauce needs all those noodles to soak up it yummy goodness.  Cook the spaghetti for eight minutes - this should give you enough time to make the sauce.  

Add the parmesan cheese, olive oil, the juice from the zested lemons, salt, and pepper into a small bowl. Whisk all these ingredients until it's somewhat cohesive.  You will have to whisk this mixture again before adding it to the pasta since the oil and juice will have separated by then.  Once the spaghetti is cooked, drain, and reserve a cup of the pasta water.  Return the pasta cooking pot.  To the pasta, add the lemony sauce and toss with the basil and the lemon zest.  After these are all tossed together, add a 1/4 of the pasta water at a time and toss - just enough so that everything doesn't cling together and make a clumpy pasta lump.  I only needed 1/4 cup of the water so that everything was combined, yet not too much to make a watery mess.

lemon sauce...YUM

You might want to mix this up a little... 

The End Result:

Oh, my goodness.  The tang from the lemon was subdued enough to make a creamy combination with the parmesan cheese.  The basil gave it a nice earthy flavor as well.  There was just enough ingredients to make everything blend so perfectly.

About 11 years ago, one of my sisters went to Italy for an exchange program for a summer.  When she came back, she brought back a recipe called "Italian Spaghetti", which was spaghetti pasta, combined with oil, parmesan cheese, and basil.  Ever since then, I have made it, never knowing the right combination of oil, cheese, and herbs.  As I was eating tonight's dish, I exclaimed that it was my sister's Italian Spaghetti, except with lemon.  Now, I know how to measure everything out and it won't end up too cheesy or too basil-y!

Thanks Maggie! Tonight's recipe was a fantastic blending of Maggie's classic Italian Spaghetti and zesty lemon flavors. The final blending was not too sour, not too basil-y (as Maggie mentioned) Although I am a little biased, I think the lemon really made this dish! The only 'change' I would make to this dish would be to add some chicken. Although it doesn't really need chicken - it certainly wouldn't hurt!

One extra thing of note tonight. We now have our own official Facebook page. Just search Out Of The Culinary on Facebook and become a fan. We will post updates to the blog, pictures and other news and info through the official page. We think it's a great way for everyone who reads the blog to keep up with all of our postings and news.

That's all we have for you tonight. I'm back in the kitchen tomorrow night was a tasty breaded treat. Stop back tomorrow night around the same time to see what I've got cooking. Until then,


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