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YIELDS:

4-8 servings

PREP TIME:

0 hours 10 mins

COOK TIME:

0 hours 15 mins

TOTAL TIME:

0 hours 25 mins

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ingredients

2 tablespoon plus 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 Tbsp. lemon zest, divided

1 Tsp. honey

1 Large Shallot, minced

1/2 Cup heavy cream

8 Oz. Tagliatelle pasta

3 Tbsps. fresh lemon juice (from 2 lemons)

2 Cups Fresh baby spinach

3 Tbsp. pine nuts

1/2 Cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Extra lemon zest to garnish

DIRECTIONS

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 2 tablespoons of kosher salt. 

2. In a small skillet, add the pine nuts and toast on the stove for a couple of minutes until lightly browned and fragrant.

3. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add one tablespoon of the lemon zest and stir for about 20 seconds. Add the remaining 3/4-teaspoon salt, honey, and shallots, and cook until shallots are softened. About 5 – 7 minutes. Add in the cream and stir until everything is well incorporated. Add the pine nuts and let the sauce simmer for about 2 minutes.

4. Cook the pasta in the boiling water per the package’s instructions. Drain the pasta but reserve about a cup of the cooking liquid. Add the pasta to a large bowl and add the lemon juice to the bowl. Toss the pasta so the tagliatelle absorbs the lemon juice.

5. Stir cheese and about 1/2 cup reserved cooking liquid into the skillet with the cream sauce. Add the spinach and let it wilt into the sauce slightly. Add pasta, and toss to coat well. Add a little more of the reserved cooking water, a couple of tablespoons at a time, until you get the consistency you want. Only add more liquid if it is necessary.

6. Serve the pasta on plates or in bowls and grind fresh black pepper on top  and more grated lemon zest if desired. Enjoy.

NOTE: I once read about a lemon fettuccini that sounded so incredibly decadent that I had to try and create my own. While I believe the original called for Meyer lemons, I use whatever lemons I can find. The dish has turned out just great every time so use what you have. I’ve since added fresh spinach and pine nuts to this recipe to break up the richness and my pasta of choice is tagliatelle, which is slightly wider than fettuccini and has a fabulous, smooth texture. But don’t stress over the type of pasta…any pasta shape will work.
I often serve this as a side dish with my Roast Chicken with Lemon and Herbs. I don’t mind treating myself to a big bowl of pasta but this is pretty rich and I think it works really well as either a smaller portion starter to your meal or as a side.

Be sure to use real Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and grate it yourself. No store bought buckets of already grated cheese, please. There aren’t a lot of ingredients in this recipe so you want the best quality you can find.

 

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