we eat what has come to seem like an endless string of pasta dinners. once a week usually. sometimes more at certain times of year (when tomatoes are in season for example, or now when there isn't much exciting going on in the produce aisle in new england). but i don't mind, and i never seem to tire of it. one thing that keeps it interesting is to vary the sauces and types of noodles. lemon garlic sauce is one of our favorites. and really it is no trouble at all. a great pantry dinner staple.
pasta with lemon garlic sauce
1 lb pasta
angel hair or capellini works well with this one since the sauce is rather thin, but so does spaghetti (pictured above) or linguine.
4 cloves garlic, sliced thin or minced
3 cups good quality chicken stock
juice of 2 lemons
1/4 cup parmesan cheese plus more to serve at table
optional are a cup of cherry tomatoes, halved and seeded
and or a handful of chopped parsley (this particular night i used neither)
first off, i make the salad. i know there isnt even salad in this recipe, but it goes awfully well with it. a nice caesar salad would be good here, or a garden salad. then i ask the kids to set the table. then i slice the garlic. set the chicken stock in a sauce pan to boil, add the garlic to the pot and let boil rapidly for a good long while, 15 minutes or more, until the stock is reduced by half. as soon as the garlic is in the stock, i set a large pan of water to boil for the pasta.
i am from the school of thought that advocates adding a goodly amount of salt and olive oil to the pasta water to add essential flavor to the pasta. but i don't add it in until just before i add the pasta, after the water is at a full boil.
as soon as the sauce is reduced by half, add in the juice from the lemons, i use 1 and a half to 2 lemons here depending on how juicy they are. keep the sauce simmering away until the pasta is done cooking, it will continue to reduce, about a cup of sauce at the end is great, give or take.
cook the pasta according to package directions. a great tip is to add the noodles in slowly, so that the water continues to boil all the while. when al dente, drain. return the pasta to the pan and pour in the lemon garlic sauce. put the heat on medium and stir around for a minute or two so the pasta absorbs a bit of the sauce. add the tomatoes and or parsley now, if you are using. turn off the heat. add in the 1/4 freshly grated paremsan cheese and serve. my family loves this and it is light, refereshing and noodley.