Mmmmm pasta! Who doesn’t enjoy a nice bowl of some tasty pasta, especially spaghetti? Heck, even in Walt Disney’s cartoon,” Lady and the Tramp, ” the two cute dogs loved spaghetti, lol. It is such a comfort food, and great to share with friends, family and good wine.
This pasta dish is so packed with flavor, you’ll want to eat it all the time. It’s light, fragrant, lemony, garlicky and if you add in the red pepper flakes, it has some kick, just like I like it!
This meal brings me back to Positano, in the Amalfi Coast where lemons are everywhere. Everywhere you look you see lemon trees. So fresh, fragrant, delicious and quite pretty. Hence, all of that great limoncello.
The fresh herbs in this recipe also add nice flavors that are a real summertime treat. They are also very good for you. Let’s start off with tarragon. Now, this is really not a very popular herb in the United States but well used in France. It has an anise or licorice taste, which many people do not like, but as an herb, it is very subtle in cooking. It is a good source of iron and supplies trace amounts of several other vitamins and minerals such as potassium which promotes normal heart and muscle function. Tarragon also supplies a tiny amount of bone-building calcium and vitamin A, a nutrient essential for healthy eyes. The mint is not only very refreshing but it also aids in digestion. And if you have motion sickness, mint goes a long way. Basil, is rich in vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin C, magnesium, iron, potassium, and calcium. As for the lemons, well besides tasting absolutely refreshing, they are packed with vitamin C which is great for your immune system and skin. I bet you didn’t think about how great this pasta meal was for you, did you? Now go and enjoy!
Lemony Garlic Spaghetti
Ingredients: Serves 4
- 1 pound spaghetti pasta
- 1 whole garlic, peeled and sliced paper thin
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lemon, cut into 8 pieces
- kosher salt to season, about 1/4 teaspoon
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup shallot, finely chopped
- freshly cracked pepper to season
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1/4 cup fresh tarragon, coarsely chopped
- 3 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
- 1/2 Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, freshly grated, plus more to pass
Place 1/2 cup olive oil in a large skillet and add in the sliced garlic in a single layer. Saute the garlic over a low heat until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Carefully remove the garlic from oil with a slotted spoon and allow the oil to cool. While the oil is cooling prepare your other ingredients.
Take the cooled oil and place in a small food processor. Add in the cooked garlic, reserving some for garnish. Add in the cut lemon and a pinch of salt. Process until smooth. This will still have a very thick consistency, but you will strain it, pressing with the back of a spoon into a bowl to get your sauce. The lemon peel, which adds an abundance of flavor also makes this very thick. Reserve the sauce and discard the ingredients left in the sieve.
Place a large pot of salted water on the stove and once the water comes to a boil, add your pasta. Cook until al dente.
While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add in the shallots and cook for about 1 minute season with salt and pepper and stir. Add in the wine and reduce by half. Now add in the lemon garlic sauce, chili flakes (Optional) Heat through, and remove from the heat. Add in the tarragon, mint and basil and stir to incorporate. Add in the pasta and using tongs, turn to evenly coat the pasta with the sauce. Add in the cheese and keep incorporating. You can add in some of the starchy, pasta water if you like a thinner sauce. Serve with some of the crispy garlic chips and extra cheese