Packed full of bold flavors, this pasta dish is not for wimpy taste buds - you have to really love lemon, garlic, and Parmesan. Due to the lingering odiferous characteristics of the dish, be sure all your dinner guests partake. This pasta is equally good served hot or at room temperature.
Lemon Garlic and Parmesan Pasta
makes 4-6 servings
1 pound thin spaghetti, cooked to perfection
1 1/2 cups reserved pasta cooking water
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup parmesan cheese (reserve a little for garnish)
1/2 cup finely chopped parsley (reserve a little for garnish)
salt and pepper to taste (heavy on the pepper)
Garnish - grated lemon zest, crushed red pepper flakes, reserved parmesan and parsley, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
Have all the ingredients ready to go as this sauce is made in the short time it takes to drain the cooked pasta. Be sure to reserve 1 and 1/2 cups of the pasta cooking water (directions for Pasta 101 found here).
Using the same stock pot the pasta was cooked in, heat the olive oil over medium heat; add the crushed garlic and saute for a minute or two until very fragrant.
Add the lemon juice and only 1 cup of pasta cooking water (reserving the other 1/2 cup in case you need it later).
Stir and cook for a minute or so; season with a little salt and lots of fresh cracked pepper (watch the salt - the pasta water and cheese are very salty). Remove pot from heat.
Add the drained pasta to the pot, then add the parmesan and parsley; mix well (add more pasta water if needed).
Garnish with grated lemon zest, crushed red pepper flakes, parmesan, parsley, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.