A lemon is an amazing thing. It can bring out the flavor of spices or temper too much salt. It can brighten the taste of fruit dishes or balance the acidity of vinaigrettes. And, of course, it produces the best desserts.
But a lemon also makes a surprisingly good and ridiculously easy pasta dish. This pasta and salad make an excellent light summer supper. Long live the lemon.
Lemon Parsley Pasta
Active Work Time: 10 minutes * Total Preparation Time: 20 minutes
3 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup chicken broth
Grated zest of 1 lemon, about 1 tablespoon
Juice of 1 lemon, about 3 tablespoons
1 (9-ounce) package fresh pasta, fettuccine or linguine
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the whipping cream and the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the lemon zest and simmer until the sauce is reduced by about one-fourth, about 10 minutes. Once the sauce has reduced, stir in the lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Keep the sauce warm over very low heat.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to package directions, about 2 minutes. Drain the pasta, reserving about 1/2 cup of the cooking water.
Add the pasta to the skillet and cook over medium heat 2 minutes, adding the reserved cooking water if the sauce seems too thick. The sauce should be slightly thicker than whipping cream.
Stir in the parsley and the cheese and serve immediately.
4 servings. Each serving: 426 calories; 509 mg sodium; 116 mg cholesterol; 23 grams fat; 13 grams saturated fat; 42 grams carbohydrates; 15 grams protein; 0.31 gram fiber.
Active Work and Total Preparation Time: 10 minutes
1 large head green or red leaf lettuce
1 small cucumber, peeled
2 small tomatoes, cut into wedges
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Tear the lettuce into bite-sized pieces and place the lettuce in a large bowl.
Slice the cucumber into thin rounds and add the rounds to the lettuce, along with the tomatoes and onion. Set aside.
Whisk together the mustard, lemon juice and vinegar in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive and vegetable oils until the vinaigrette is emulsified. Season with salt and pepper.
Just before serving, toss the salad with the vinaigrette.
4 servings. Each serving: 322 calories; 120 mg sodium; 0 cholesterol; 32 grams fat; 3 grams saturated fat; 9 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams protein; 3.05 grams fiber.
Lemon Parsley Pasta
20 minutes before: Grate and juice lemon. Chop parsley. Grate cheese.
15 minutes before: Start pasta sauce. Make vinaigrette. Tear lettuce leaves. Cut up vegetables for salad.
5 minutes before: Finish pasta. Toss salad.