My Latest Quick and Easy Go-To Pasta Recipe

A few months ago my sister gave me the most incredible cookbook I’ve ever had the privilege of owning! It’s The Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook… and YES it’s like the Sports Illustrated magazine of cookbooks, minus the steamy swimsuit addition. (However it can get a little steamy in your kitchen when using this cookbook, so yeah I think they’re about the same! To me anyway! I get pretty turned on when it comes to cooking!!… Ok I’m really taking this a little too far.  A little TMI for ya? I can’t help it! I LOVE TO COOK! Deal with it or get out of my kitchen!)

So yeah, back to the amazing cookbook that’s filled with amazing recipes… 2000 to be exact! There are 890 pages of yummy-should-be-illegal-its-that-good recipes! This book is about which tried and true recipes work and WHY! It literally says “Why such and such works” in the foot notes! So if you are uber nerdy about your cooking and want to know the how’s and why’s off cooking, please do yourself a favor and buy this book!  Here’s a link, go ahead and order yourself a copy. Your fat and happy family can thank me later, or they can cuss me out because you’re cooking so much food you’ve become the “Walter White” of the culinary world and you’re having to take ridiculous risks to hide your stash of organic herbs and fine cheeses! I’ve already reached “Heisenberg Level” because I’m now asking Joe for an out door kitchen and while at Lowe’s today, I started mapping out my kitchen for the NEXT house we buy! Yes folks, its that bad!

But I digress.

You came here looking for a recipe, a recipe you shall have.

Spaghetti Al Limone (serves 4)

  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated fine (1/2 cup), plus extra for serving
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest plus 1/4 cup juice (2 lemons)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

1) Bring 4 quarts water to boil in a large pot. Add pasta and 1 tbs salt and cook, stirring often, until al dente. Reserve 1 3/4 cups cooking water, then drain pasta.

2)Heat 1 tbs oil in now hot empty pot over medium heat until shimmering. Add shallot and 1/2 tsp salt and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in 1 1/2 cups reserved cooking water and cream, bring to simmer, and cook for 2 minutes. Off heat, add drained pasta, remaining 3 tbs olive oil, Parmesan, lemon zest, lemon juice, and 1/2 tsp pepper and toss to combine.

30 Cover and let pasta rest for 2 minutes, tossing frequently and adding remaining cooking water as needed to adjust consistency. Stir in basil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle individual portions with oil and serve, passing Parmesan separately.

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What I love about this pasta dish is the add-in’s are endless! Sun dried tomatoes, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, grilled chicken breasts, turkey, grilled veggies, grilled salmon, SHRIMP!!!!… seriously, whatever floats your boat. This is the second time I made it and as shameful as this is to admit, I had 2 bowls the first night and 2 bowls for lunch the next day! And lets not mention the “walk-by-grazing” I did before putting it in the fridge when I was cleaning up the kitchen! Tisk Tisk!!! I know I know!

Let me know how you like it and what you added to it! I’m curious to hear about other creative culinary geniuses and their creations!

Recipe credits: Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook: 2000 Recipes from 20 years of America’s Most Trusted Food Magazine

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