Sometimes simple is better. Especially at the end of the week, when you’re tired and not that hungry and sort of want to just lie on the floor and drink too much wine. I was there today–just back from a run, hot, tired, not really in the mood for cooking. I was craving lemon and basil, didn’t want meat except seafood, and knew I had a lot of mushrooms in need of cooking before I go buy more, so I decided to play with a pasta dish I’ve made several times now. I’ve usually used strozzapreti because it seems to hold thin sauces better than a lot of pasta shapes, but I didn’t have any so I used penne (don’t, if you can help it; it’s just plain not a good idea).
Anyway, I achieved what I was going for: a light pasta dish with a strong lemon flavor, mushrooms, and basil. In the past, I’ve just garnished it with chives, but I decided to incorporate basil so that its sweetness would balance out some of the acidity from the lemon. I also minced up some lemon balm I had growing on my patio and mixed it into the broth to add extra lemon flavor (it worked). I was tempted to add more ingredients–roasted tomatoes, peppers, pepper flakes–but decided they would only detract from the lemon flavor I really wanted to showcase. I had a strozzapreti dish at a restaurant once that had cauliflower and a lemony sauce, and I was amazed that I felt it didn’t need anything more. Lesson: sometimes a lot of lemon is a good thing. Same goes for mushrooms, unless you’re a mushroom hater, in which case: who are you?
Here’s a recipe:
- Salt and pepper
- Chicken broth (a mushroom broth made from scratch would be better, but I didn’t have time and didn’t feel like it: don’t be like me…)
- Lemon juice and zest
- Lemon balm, minced
- A touch of cream
- Sugar, if you accidentally use too much lemon or just want sweet, which is also fine
- Chives, minced, as garnish
- Basil, as garnish
- Parmesan cheese, as garnish
- Some sort of pasta with a lot of absorbancy and/or grooves
That’s seriously it XD