Ahhh, citrus. Do you know what a little lemon zest can do to a dish? Ina Garten always talks about ways to make food taste even better—a pinch of saffron in your risotto or a splash of espresso in your melted chocolate—give it depth of flavor. And adding the zest or the juice of a lemon will do that to so much of what you make. You name it, I’m squeezing a lemon over it.
But in this pasta, citrus is the star. It’s simple, light, delicious, and it’s the perfect summer dinner. Change the amounts to suit your palette….change the ingredients too!
*adapted from Everyday Italian by Giada DeLaurentiis*
- 1 lb of pasta (I like DeCecco cavatappi, but penne works too)
- about 1 C of frozen peas (more if you like ‘em)
- ½ C olive oil
- ½ C of parmesan (please use the real thing here….no green cans allowed!); more for serving
- juice and zest of two lemons
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- couple of T basil (let the Pioneer Woman show you how to chiffonade)
Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil. Add salt to flavor the pasta. Don’t be shy. We’re talking Tablespoons here.
Cook the pasta until it’s al dente, according to the package directions.
Add the frozen peas about two minutes before the pasta is done.
Meanwhile, whisk the olive oil, parmesan, lemon juice and zest, salt and pepper in a large bowl, or an attractive serving dish, depending on how your kitchen works.
Drain the pasta and peas, and add it to the sauce.
Toss the pasta with the sauce.
Add the basil just before serving, so that it doesn’t lose it’s nice green color.
Grate some parmesan over the top of the bowl, or each individual dish. Whatever your serving vessel, fresh grated is a must. The buttery flakes will melt right into the lemony goodness. I have to go….there’s still some left in my fridge.