Tagliolini al limone by Emiko Davies
Any pasta shape can work with this. With the silky, creamy, tangy sauce of lemon and zest, I particularly like something long and flat, like linguine, bavette or tagliolini. A dash of cream binds everything together, but my husband Marco sometimes likes to add caprino (soft and tangy goat’s curd) instead. The sauce can be made in the time it takes the pasta to cook. If you’re in a real hurry to get food on the table, use fresh pasta (as opposed to dried) and it only takes minutes to cook – and you’ll still be able to make the sauce in time.
Note: Seek out organic lemons, as they haven’t been waxed or treated with pesticides, and since the flavour of this dish relies mostly on their zest, those kinds of treatments are the last thing you want to taste. Do give them a good rinse under running water and pat dry before using, though.
320 g tagliolini (or other long pasta), fresh if possible
2 large organic lemons
50 g butter
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
125 ml pouring (single/light) cream
50 g grated pecorino or parmesan cheese
Put the pasta in a large pot of boiling, well-salted water – ideally, use 1 teaspoon of salt per 1 litre of water.
Finely grate the lemons with a microplane for their zest (be careful not to use any of the white pith, as it’s unpleasantly bitter). Cut the lemons in half and squeeze all the juice from them. Set the zest and juice aside.
Put the butter and olive oil in a frying pan to melt over medium heat. Once melted, add the lemon zest and let it infuse for about 1 minute, stirring (do not let the lemon burn). Add the lemon juice and let it simmer for 3 minutes. Add the cream and about half the cheese, and season with salt and pepper. Cook for a further 1–2 minutes or until thick. Remove from the heat.
Drain the pasta when al dente, but save about 125 ml of the pasta cooking water. Toss the tagliolini in the frying pan with the lemon sauce to coat. Add some extra pasta water if it’s looking dry. Serve with the rest of the grated cheese.
Emiko is the author of two cookbooks Florentine: the true cuisine of Florence and Acquacotta: Recipes and Stories from Tuscany's Secret Silver Coast (Hardie Grant). This recipe is from Acquacotta. Emiko lives in Florence and is working on her third cookbook to be released in 2019. You can follow her on Instagram @emikodavies