Spaghetti with Lemon and Olive Oil; Asparagus Mimosa

By Ira,

This is a wonderful light spring dish. Asparagus is in season and this a great way to enjoy it.

In order to have everything out in time,

  1. put a large pot of water to boil for the spaghetti
  2. start boiling  the eggs
  3. put a medium pot of water to boil for the asparagus
  4. prepare the mimosa dressing
  5. proceed with completing the meal as below.

Spaghetti with Lemon and Olive Oil

Serves 4 to 6 – Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen

  • Table salt
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, separated, plus more for serving
  • 1 medium shallot,minced (about 3 tablespoons)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (from 2 or 3 lemons)
  • 1 ounce finely grated Parmesan cheese (about 1/2 cup),plus more for serving
  • Ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons shredded fresh basil leaves

Note: don’t use store-bought lemon juice as it will drastically change the flavor of this meal.

In a large pot over high heat, bring water to boil. Add 1 tablespoon salt and spaghetti.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Before draining the spaghetti, reserve 1 3⁄4 cups cooking water. Set it aside.

In the same pot, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Add shallot and in 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring, until shallot is softened, about 2 minutes.

Add 1 1/2 cups of the reserved pasta water and cream into the pan; bring to simmer and let it cook for 2 minutes.

Remove it from the heat, add pasta, and stir until pasta is coated.

Then add the remaining 3 tablespoons oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, cheese, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Stir again.

It is important to cover the pot and let pasta stand 2 minutes in order to develop the flavors. While the pasta’s covered, you still need to toss it frequently and if it gets dry, you can add the remaining 1/4 cup pasta water, a little at a time.

Add the basil, stir, and season with salt and pepper to taste. When serving, drizzle each plate with oil and sprinkle with cheese.

Asparagus Mimosa

  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon white-wine vinegar, or champagne vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon drained capers

In a small pan, cover the eggs with 1 inch water. Let it come to a boil over high heat. take it off the heat and put the lid on, and set it aside for 10 minutes. Then take the eggs out of the hot water and place them in a bowl of cold water with ice. Wait another 5 minutes, then peel them, and grate them with the coarse side of the grater.

Cut 2 inches of the stalk off the asparagus and discard.

In a medium pot, bring water to boil. Add the asparagus, and 1 teaspoon salt. Let it simmer for about 3 -6 minutes, according to how soft you like your asparagus. You can test one after 3 minutes and see if it’s done to your liking.

When done, add it to a bowl of cold water with ice. Let it sit there for a few minutes, drain, dry with a clean kitchen towel and arrange it on a serving platter.

In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, oil, salt and pepper. Spoon it over the asparagus.

Add the grated eggs to the middle portion of the asparagus so you can see the tips and stalks from either end. Sprinkle with Capers.


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