Ryn, this one is especially for you.
This recipe starts from Nigella Lawson. So if my directions don’t sound quite like me, I was typing from her directions, and she is ever so colorful. Believe or not, I only wrote about half as many directions as she did. This is actually a half version of her original recipe. I can’t imagine ever needing two pounds of this at one time. I usually serve this with Chicken Picatta. It is pictured with Chicken Picatta and Lemon Garlic Green Beans.
1 pound spaghetti/linguini
1 – 2 tablespoons sea salt
1 egg yolk
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
zest and juice of 1 lemon (or to taste)
pinch of sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 – 3 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley (optional)
2 – 3 tablespoons capers (optional and to taste)
- Bring 3 – 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. After the water has begun to boil, add 1 -2 tablespoons of kosher salt. Then add the pasta and cook about one minute short of whatever the package says.
- Combine the egg yolk, cream, Parmesan, zest and juice of lemon, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Taste to see if it’s lemony enough for you; add more zest and/or juice if you like.
- Check to see if your pasta is almost cooked through. You want it a bit firm but done through the middle. If you cut a piece of pasta in half, the color should be the same through the whole strand. There shouldn’t be a lighter color in the middle of the strand.
- Remove one cup of the pasta water and set aside. Drain the pasta and either put the pasta back in the already hot pasta pot (now off the heat) or in a big bowl you have warmed up (put hot water in the bowl and then dump it hot right before you put in the pasta). Add the butter to the pasta and stir and swirl until all the pasta is covered with butter. You can add more butter if you want.
- When you are satisfied each strand of pasta is covered with butter, then stir in the egg mixture (and capers, if using) and coat the pasta with the sauce. Add some of the pasta cooking liquid if it looks dry. 1 – 2 tablespoons to start — you don’t want a wet mess. Sprinkle over the parsley and more Parmesan if you like. Serve immediately.
- Note: I have used half and half instead of heavy cream in this and it has worked; you might want to add a little bit of butter to the egg mixture when you mix in the half and half.