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Spaghetti with Lemon & Olive Oil

2 lone lemons
I've patiently been waiting for the lemons on my lemon tree. We've had the "tree" for about 4 years. Every year I get real excited because it gets tons of flowers and then gets tons of little baby lemons. Then they all fall off one by one and we end up with 2 lemons. They usually are ripe anywhere between November or December. I always try to make something special with them since they are such a scarce commodity. Something where lemons are center stage. They have a very thin skin and are very lemony.
Look how thin the skin is

So this year it was a classic dish - Spaghetti al Limone. I came upon this via Smitten Kitchen who came upon it via American's Test Kitchen.

Spaghetti al Limone

1lb spaghetti, linguine,  angel hair pasta
1/4 c olive oil
1/4 c heavy cream
3 lemons or about 1/3-1/2 c lemon juice
zest from 3 lemons
1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup fresh parsley
Fresh basil (optional)

Boil pasta in salted water. Reserve 2 c of pasta water and drain pasta. In the pot that pasta was cooked add olive oil, heavy cream, and 1/2 c of pasta water. Heat until it starts to bubble. Add pasta and lemon juice. Toss. Add cheese and parsley (and basil if using). Toss. Continue to add pasta water until desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste.

One pot cooking - hooray!
This comes together so quickly, you can barely call it cooking. I didn't have any fresh basil so I omitted it and it was just as tasty.  I only got about 1/4 c of lemon juice from these lemons, which is pretty amazing considering their size. I believe they are Meyer lemons so they have a really strong flavor.  Viva al Limone until next year!


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