An unexpected but surprisingly powerful way to enhance flavor, lemon zest brings a fresh, light citrus flavor to a deliciously creamy, herby dish.
Using shallot instead of onion helps provide a sweet balance to the pleasant acidity, and the heft of a bucatini noodle is the perfect vessel for the sauce. It’s the perfect dinner party meal. Bon appetit!
How to Make It
- 1 cup grated Parmesan, divided
- 2 tbsp lemon zest, divided
- 5 tbsp unsalted butter, chilled, divided
- 1 medium shallot, finely diced
- 1 cup 35% cream
- 1 cup chopped fresh basil, divided
- 12 oz (350 g) bucatini, linguine or spaghetti
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 350˚F. Mix 1/2 cup Parmesan with 1/2 tbsp lemon zest and shape into a 5-in diameter circle of even thickness on non-stick baking sheet. Bake for 5 minutes, turn baking sheet around and bake for another 3 to 5 minutes or until bubbling and deep golden-brown.
- Remove from oven and using a spatula transfer Parmesan crisp to cooling rack. Set aside to cool completely.
- Bring a large covered pot of salted water to a boil.
- Melt one tablespoon butter over medium-low heat in a large heavy-bottomed pot. Add the shallot and remaining lemon zest, stirring constantly for 5 minutes or until the shallot is translucent and fragrant.
- Add cream and 1/4 cup basil to the butter and shallot. Bring the mixture to a low simmer. Small bubbles should just be breaking the surface of the cream. Once simmering, stir in remaining butter one tablespoon at a time, waiting for each to be incorporated before adding the next and stirring constantly. Sauce should begin to slightly thicken.
- Sprinkle remaining Parmesan into the sauce, stir well.
- Cook the pasta in the boiling water following package instructions, until al dente, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Reserve 1 1/2 cups pasta water and drain pasta.
- Add pasta to sauce with 1/2 cup pasta water while still over low heat. Stir and coat pasta with sauce. Mix lemon juice with another 1/2 cup of pasta water and add to pot. Increase heat to medium-low. Toss vigorously to thicken sauce and coat the pasta. If desired, add additional pasta water to make it more saucy.
- Transfer finished pasta to a large serving bowl or four individual bowls. Top with remaining basil and black pepper. Crumble the Parmesan crisp and generously sprinkle over top. Serve immediately.