Did I say cooking was not in my immediate future? I was wrong. But this recipe from easygoing Goddess Nigella Lawson is just barely cooking-- only the pasta is cooked, and we know how strain-free that procedure is. And a good thing too: I'm tired and working on my fourth FAWM song in less than twenty-four hours, it's brutally frigid outside and getting ready to dump mass amounts of snow, and I need need need some wine and a hot meal.
Enter Lemon Linguine. A splash of cream and lemon thickened with egg yolk and cheese, swirl in the hot pasta, and you're eating. When I make this for my family, I just dispense with the egg and add more cream and cheese. But for me, that little touch of richness is a treat. I also like it with cracked pepper most of the time instead of the fresh parsley Nigella uses. To each her own. This is so good, so simple, so almost ready right now. Try it sometime, and eat something good tonight-- we deserve it.
Lemon Linguine (adapted from recipe by Nigella Lawson, from How to Eat)
linguine for 2-4
2 egg yolks
2/3 C heavy cream
1/2 C freshly grated parmesan ( I like Romano or Grana Padano here)
zest of 1 lemon and juice of 1/2, more if needed
4 Tbsp unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
several Tbsp fresh chopped flat leaf parsley, optional
Boil water for 1 lb., or less, linguine. I often use whole wheat linguine, as I have tonight. Cook pasta till just al dente. While cooking it, make the sauce:
In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the cream, then whisk in the zest, lemon juice and half the cheese. Taste and adjust, adding more cheese, lemon or cream till the tang pleases you.
When the pasta is done, remove a cupful of the cooking water to use, drain the pasta and put it back in the pot. Throw in the butter and toss it with the linguine till each strand is barely coated-- use a bit more if needed. It's good!
Stir in the cream mixture and toss with the pasta, adding a little bit of the reserved cooking water if needed to keep it from looking dry-- a few Tbsp of reserved water help make a creamy sauce that coats properly, but add carefully so as not to sog out the sauce. Taste and adjust seasoning, using more lemon, a dribble of cream or more cheese if desired. Serve in warmed bowls, sprinkled with fresh parsley if desired. it's rich and light at the same time.