Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Lemon Parmigiana Pasta

My ultimate form of comfort food. Pasta. It's so filling and incredibly versatile. I can serve it with tons of cheese, tomato sauce, alfredo sauce, e olio, you name it, you got it. One of my favorite ways to have it, is just tossed with olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, basil, mushrooms and wine. It's so warm, hearty, and really explains why I love Italian food. It takes so little for such a great tasting meal. This is no different.

Growing up, my mom constantly would whip up pasta dishes on a whim. They always burst with flavor and she rarely spent more than 20-30 minutes on them. It's funny because most people think lasagna or baked ziti or manicotti is the most comforting form of Italian (or Americanized Italian) food. But for me it's something like this. Don't misunderstand me. Gnocchi and eggplant parm are actually my two favorite foods. And they are incredibly comforting. But a simple pasta takes so little time to make, with so little labor involved. That's pretty comforting to me. Hopefully some weeknight when you're feeling a nice warm bowl of pasta, you'll try this version! Enjoy!

Time from start to finish: 20-30 minutes

1/2 box Cavatappi pasta
1 Lemon, juiced and zested
1/2 cup Chicken Stock
1/4 cup Basil, cut into a chiffonade
1 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, shredded
2 Tbsp Parsley, chopped
8 ounces mushrooms, chopped thickly
3 cloves Garlic, minced or grated
1/2 medium Onion, chopped
1 Tbsp Crushed Red Pepper
1 cup Dry White Wine
1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tbsp Butter
1-2 Tbsp Flour
Salt and Pepper to taste

Salt your pasta water. While you wait for your water to boil, melt one tablespoon of butter with the oil over medium heat. Once melted, add mushrooms and onion and saute until onion is translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Turn heat to medium high and add the wine. Bring to a boil then reduce to low. Add the crushed red pepper, garlic, chicken stock, flour, remainder of the butter, lemon juice and zest, salt and pepper, 1/2 of the basil and all of the parsley. Cook at least 3-4 minutes, then add the pasta and the cheese. Toss and top with remainder of the basil. Serve with pesto topped crusty Italian bread and salad.

Eat Well!

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