This is another wonderful weeknight pasta that uses simple ingredients. I was excited to make it while Meyer lemons are still readily available. The lemon added brightness which had a nice contrast to the richness of the browned butter and cheese.
This recipe is from Bon Appétit, contributed by Andy Baraghani. I used a mandoline to slice the lemon into 1/8-inch thick (thin) rounds. I loved that the original recipe called for “an almost ridiculous amount of pepper.” I’m a huge fan. 🙂
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
- 1 lb. short tube pasta, such as paccheri or rigatoni (I used mezzi rigatoni)
- coarse salt
- 8 T (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, divided
- 1 small regular lemon or Meyer lemon, very thinly sliced into rounds, seeds removed (I used a mandoline)
- 1 oz Parmesan, finely grated, plus more for serving (I used Parmigiano-Reggiano)
- freshly ground black pepper
- Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling generously salted water, stirring occasionally, until very al dente, about 2 minutes less than package directions (pasta will finish cooking in the sauce).
- Meanwhile, heat half of the butter in a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium until melted.
- Add lemon slices and cook, stirring often, until softened and bottom of pot is browned in spots, 5–7 minutes.
- Using tongs, transfer one-third of lemon slices to a plate; set aside.
- Just before pasta is al dente, scoop out 2 cups pasta cooking liquid.
- Add 1 1/2 cups pasta cooking liquid to butter sauce. (This may seem like a lot of liquid, but it will thicken once the remaining ingredients are added.)
- Add remaining butter a piece at a time, whisking until each piece is incorporated before adding more, until the sauce is emulsified and creamy.
- Drain pasta and add to sauce.
- Cook, stirring often and adding the grated Parmesan a little at a time.
- Once all of the cheese is added, continue to cook, still stirring, until cheese is melted and sauce is creamy and clings to pasta, about 3 minutes. If sauce looks very thick, add more pasta cooking liquid 1–2 Tbsp. at a time to thin (saucier is ideal as it will thicken as it cools).
- Remove from heat and sprinkle with an almost ridiculous amount of pepper (about 2 tsp.); toss once more.
- Serve pasta topped with reserved lemon rounds and more Parmesan.