Friday, April 07, 2006

When Life Gives You Lemons ...

I wanted to make a lemon risotto. I had everything on hand, except chicken broth. All out.

I wanted to make a nice fennel cannolini bean soup I had found on the blog. No beans. Two down.

And it was late. Again.

So, with my back up against the wall, again, invention was called for.

I wondered why the lemon / egg mixture that flavored the lemon risotto couldn’t just as well form the basis of a sauce for spaghetti. Pasta, unlike risotto, doesn’t need to be cooked in chicken broth first. And I have plenty of water.

Carbonara is just eggs and bacon (and garlic), heated over some pasta until it thickens. The lemon sauce is pretty similar, if you replaced the bacon with lemon juice and zest. Really just a matter of making sure the eggs don’t scramble before a thick sauce can be formed.

And no one would here eat the bacon version of carbonara anyways. Bacon being another of the many things that are frowned upon here.

But the idea of lemon pasta was intriguing. A lemony pasta sauce, thickened with eggs, flavored with lemons. And thyme. That would work. Thyme and lemons are a great combination. And of course the roasted garlic from the classic carbonara recipe. That would have to stay. And cheese. Lots of grated cheese. Sounds like necessity may have spawned another invention.

I was sorry about the soup, because I was really in the mood for something warm, and the recipe sounded really good. Unfortunately, put off for another time. Replaced by a simple salad. With a nice vinaigrette.

What came out was really very good. A nice, rich lemony sauce. The thyme and garlic filling in the background. And because of the eggs, there was good protein as well as carbs. I just hope the cooking didn’t kill the vitamin C from the lemons. We could all use it. With a salad on the side, a very complete invention.

Lemon Pasta a la surfinddave

2 large lemons, zested and juiced
6 eggs, very fresh
several sprigs of thyme, leaves stripped off and stems discarded
¼ to ½ cup cream
1 cup pecorino-romano cheese, grated
4 cloves garlic, minced
olive oil
2 lbs spaghetti or other pasta
parsley, chopped, for garnish
thyme sprigs for garnish

Whisk together eggs, lemon juice, lemon zest, thyme leaves, salt and pepper.

Heat olive oil over low heat in a large skillet.

Cook pasta in boiling water. Add garlic to hot oil in skillet, and brown very slowly (it burns quickly).

When pasta is done cooking, scoop directly into hot skillet (don’t rinse, leave wet). Stir pasta briefly in oil to coat. Add egg mixture, stirring constantly. Remove pan from heat. Continue to stir until eggs begin to thicken. Add grated cheese, stirring. When sauce thickens SLIGHTLY (it goes from moist to glue fast!), serve in bowls, topped with parsley and a sprig of thyme. Enjoy!

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Blogger Maggie said...

That sounds great, I find great fun in the kitchen, when like you I start out cooking something and end up with a new creation. People often say what are you cooking and my reply is maybe this or maybe something else. Thyme and eggs a good choice!

6:32 AM  

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