Lemon. Can be sweet, can be savory, can be tangy, can be surprising. (Sounds like most women I know!) It’s flexible, resourceful, delightful. It’s malleable, takes on characteristics of what its paired with, and still holds its own. (Again, sounds like most women I know!)
This pasta is a quick dinner or side dish- and hits the umami spot just fine. Pair it with a roast chicken or grilled salmon and a salad for a complete dinner. And it’s great cold too!
Lemon Pasta with Roasted Garlic
1 lb angel hair pasta
1 32 oz. box of Chicken Stock ( I like Kitchen Basics or Simple Truth)
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (Takes 3-5 lemons)
Zest of one lemon (Use one of the ones you are squeezing)
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 cup olive oil
Optional: 2 T butter added to sauce when making. I suggest you do this!
1 large head of roasted garlic (process below + do this a day ahead if possible. Though does make the house smell heavenly!)
1/2 C shaved Parmesan + more for serving
Fresh chopped cilantro- good handful then chop.
Fresh ground pepper and sea salt to taste
Optional: crisped Prosciutto ( so good!)
Putting it Together:
Roast the Garlic: heat oven to 400 degrees. While oven is preheating, prep the garlic. Remove the outer layers of large garlic head. (might as well do four. For the extras, place the cooked cloves removed from skins into jar and cover with olive oil. Will keep for 2 weeks. In the refrigerator) Cut off top 1/4 inch and place bottom down onto aluminum foil. Drizzle with olive oil. Crunch up the aluminum foil to close and place into oven. Will take appx 45 minutes to roast to softness. Depends on size of garlic heads and oven. This can be done a day ahead to speed through lunch or dinner prep.
NOTE: sometimes you just want to eat this quick! On that real possibility, use minced garlic from a jar. It is not as creamy and does miss that carmelly sweetness, but it is still very delicious! Just be sure to drain the water from the garlic. And use 2 heaping tablespoons.
Pour the chicken stock into a large pot and heat to boiling. Add in a healthy pinch of salt. Put the dried pasta into the stock. To reach al dente will take about 12 minutes. Of course, cook to your desired doneness. Remember: save a cup of pasta stock water when you drain the pasta. You will use this for your sauce.
While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a medium sauce pan. When it starts to shimmer, add in the red pepper flakes. Stir. Slowly add in the lemon juice, stirring while you add it in. Let simmer for a few minutes to blend flavors. Salt and Pepper to taste. Carefully add in the roasted garlic cloves and remove from heat.
Remember: grab that cups of pasta stock-water before you drain your pasta. Now, return the pasta to the pot it was cooked in. Mix in half of the pasta stock water. Add in half of the sauce. Toss gently. Add in more of the stock water and sauce till pasta is coated and glossy. Toss in 1/4 cup of shaved parm. Toss again. Pour onto platter.
Top with Parm, Lemon zest, and chopped Cilantro. Grind fresh black pepper. This is the way I like to eat the pasta, you can adjust the amount of lemon, red peppers, Parm. Make it your own!
Serve alongside hunks of good bread and butter, a simple salad topped with balsamic vinaigrette, (say romaine, sliced radishes and chopped orange bell peppers), and you are done.