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Pasta Al Limone
This recipe is compliments of Andrew Rae of Basics with Babish fame. Traditionally a creamy emulsion of oil, lemon, and pasta water, this simple but indulgent dish can be amped up a number of ways. Here’s the recipe for the traditional Italian method, but check out the link to the recipe for a couple variations.
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Al Limone Sauce
1 clove garlic, peeled and sliced
Pasta, ~250g (dried or homemade)
Freshly ground black pepper
75g parmesan cheese, grated
How To Make
Start by peeling and thinly slicing 1 large clove of garlic. Then, roughly or finely chop some fresh parsley and roll 1 large lemon along a work surface before cutting it in half.
For homemade pasta, in a large amount of all-purpose flour shaped into a crater, crack in 3 eggs, a pinch of salt and begin mixing it until a slurry forms. Toss it together until a ball of dough forms. Knead continuously for 7-10 minutes. Wrap in plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
To roll out, generously flour the dough and work surface before rolling the dough out with a roller to a thickness of 1 mm. Generously flour and fold like an accordion, making sure that each fold does not overlap.
Using a sharp knife, slice the dough into the desired size before unfolding and twisting into nests to prevent pasta kinks.
In a sauce pot, bring just enough water to cover the pasta to a boil before adding in the pasta. Make sure to stir after adding the pasta to ensure no sticking.
For the Al Limone sauce, add 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil to a high-walled saute pan. In addition, add the sliced garlic from earlier, 1 teaspoon of chili flakes, the zest of 1 lemon, and some freshly ground black pepper. Cook for 3-5 minutes.
Once the garlic is a light blonde, dump in the pasta if using store-bought (1-2 minutes shy of being done), and if using fresh pasta only boil for 30 seconds before adding.
Once pasta is added, give everything a toss to fully incorporate everything.
Over medium-low heat add the juice of either ½ a lemon or the juice of 1 whole lemon, a small pour of olive oil, ¼ cup of freshly chopped parsley, and 75 g of freshly grated parmesan cheese. Stir together until combined.
After everything has been combined, add in ¼ cup of boiling pasta water and toss together. Add a splash at a time as necessary, checking to see if it’s too thick or thin. If too thick, add more pasta water. If too thin, add more cheese. Season with kosher salt.
Once the sauce has reached the desired consistency, twist up and serve. Garnish with extra grated Parmigiano Reggiano, chopped parsley, and grated lemon zest.