Lemon and Basil Pasta

Lemon and Basil Pasta

I had meant to take part in the cook the books club for some time, but somehow circumstances had conspired to prevent this (like, receiving the book by Peter Mayle 5 (yes, five) months after ordering it). However, I got hold of the current book selection Eating for England by Nigel Slater on time. The collection of short pieces on various foods take the reader on a tour of British eating past and present (even though quite a number are addressing store-bought childhood sweets, which are quite arcane to somebody not brought up in the UK), which didn't make it easy to choose a dish for cook the books.
First I wanted to try Welsh Rarebit, because cheese melted in beer sounds like a great idea. Then came a spell of warm weather and a rhubarb Eton Mess seemed to be the way to go. But the rhubarb ended up in a cake (post coming up, but don't hold your breath) and I settled for pasta with lemon sauce from another of Nigel's books as an example of contemporary English cuisine.

Lemon and Basil Linguine

Source: the kitchen diaries by Nigel Slater


200 g linguine *
juice of a large lemon
75 ml olive oil
75 g Parmesan, grated
large handful of basil leaves

* Used spaghetti.


Put a huge pan of water on to boil. When it is bubbling furiously, salt it generously, then add the linguine. Let it cook at an excited boil for about eight minutes.

Put the lemon juice, olive oil and grated parmesan in a warm bowl (warmed under a running tap, then dried) and beat briefly with a small whisk till thick and grainy. Tear up the basil and stir in with a grinding of black pepper. Drain the pasta and quickly toss in the lemon and Parmesan 'sauce'.
Enough for 2.


Rachel said...

Thanks for joining us this month. Your pasta sounds so simple, yet so tasty. I wonder why I never thought of lemon and basil together, but now I can't wait to try this recipe out! Great post.

mimicooks said...

It's funny how the English are going so mediterranean nowadays. Jaime Oliver seems to love pasta too.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Oh my word ... this would have been so perfect with the lemon grilled tuna we had last night! ... maybe I can just do it with the leftovers at lunch! I think that might work! Sounds great.

Debinhawaii said...

A great pick--I love how simple and delicious Nigel Slater's recipes are. Lemon and basil is a perfect pairing too. So glad you could join in with us this time! ;-)

Joanne said...

This is one delicious cook the books entry. I love simple pasta dishes like this. Basil makes me extremely happy!

Johanna said...

What a coincidence! I almost made that for CTB myself, as I have loads of lemons and basil, but ended up making some scones instead. (foodjunkie)

Jeanne said...

Yum! You have perfect timing with this recipe, since I expect that I'll be receiving lots more Meyer lemons from my CSA this week!

Elle said...

This would taste great on its own, but also with chicken or fish. Love that it sounds light. The English cusine is very creative these days...not so heavy.

Kris said...

This is my favorite. The best pasta, is with the simplest of ingredients!

Simona said...

Simple but delicious and certainly timely for me, as fresh basil is starting to appear at the farmers' market.

cantbelieveweate said...

MMmmmm! This might be a perfect side to an Italian grilled chicken tonight. That's sure a thought! Thanks so much for sharing!

Claudia said...

I like the emulsion technique for that pasta sauce. Our lemons are done for now, but I've been using lots of my preserved ones, which would work well in this.

girlichef said...

Nice entry...simple, yet delicious! So glad you could join in with this selection :D