A great variation of the Italian favourite, spaghettini aglio, olio e pepperoncino; with the addition of lemon juice and lemon rind. I especially like this type of pasta in the summer as a “primi” (first course) followed by a “secondo” of perhaps fish, chicken or veal cooked on the barbecue. Or, you could make a big salad and serve the pasta as a main.
Makes 4 main course servings or 6-8 first course servings.
1 lb. spaghettini
4 large garlic cloves, minced
½ – ¾ tsp. pepperoncino (red chili flakes), or to your own taste
½ cup EVOO
Finely grated zest of 2 lemons
3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
½ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1 Tbsp. salt; add the spaghettini and cook until al dente; checking for doneness 2 or 3 minutes before the timing on the package says. (I often find that the cooking time stated on the package for al dente is too long). Reserve 1 cup of pasta cooking water and drain pasta in a colander.
While the spaghettini are cooking, cook the garlic and pepperoncino flakes in the EVOO in a 12” heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until the garlic is just golden. Stir in the lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, pepper & ½ cup of the reserved pasta cooking water; bring to a simmer. Toss the pasta in the sauce with the parsley, adding more pasta cooking water if pasta appears dry. Place pasta in a large, warm serving bowl. If you wish, you can pass the Parmigiano Reggiano.
To see some of my favourite dried pasta’s, please go to my Source List.