Work is horribly hectic these days, but that’s no excuse for not posting for a month. After all, there are plenty of suppers that can be cooked from scratch in less than ten minutes. In a word: pasta. Unless it’s a ragu, pasta is a perfect dish for the harried cook. Simplicity is cardinal. With just three to four simple ingredients, the pasta should be just al dente by the time the sauce is ready.
One of my favourites is pasta alla limone. It’s the taste of summer on a plate. I’m all about intense flavours, so my taste buds deem cream superfluous, masking the zingy punchiness of the citrus. The timings are flawlessly interwoven. I’d zested the rind and squeezed out every last drop of the acerbic juice just as bubbles broke the surface of the simmering brine. In goes the pasta.
Indulge in a sip or two of vino as you add a glug of nutty extra virgin olive oil, a scattering of hewn parsley and a liberal grating of parmesan. Test, drain and the zingy, luscious emulsion is ready to stir into the barely al dente strands. Delectable simplicity. Buon appetito!
RECIPE: Linguine al limone
Serves a hungry panda pair in a hurry
250g of linguine or spaghetti
The juice and zest of a lemon
A glug of extra virgin olive oil
A generous grating of Parmigiano Reggiano
A sprinkling of salt and a grinding of pepper
A spring of finely chopped flat leaf parsley
INSTRUCTIONS: Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Meanwhile, grate the lemon zest and squeeze the juice into a bowl. Add the pasta to the boiling salted water. Grate in the Parmigiano and whisk in the olive oil so the sauce emulsifies (thickens and becomes slightly creamy). Taste and season. If it is too acidic add a touch more cheese and oil. It should be zingy, but not so tart that you grimace. When the pasta is just al dente drain, reserving a tablespoon of the cooking liquid. Add the sauce to the pasta and stir so every strand is coated. Scatter over the chopped parsley and heap onto plates. Sprinkle over even more parmesan and enjoy.