There’s no greater quick and cheap meal than pasta (unless you’re one of these puritans who thinks carbs are basically edible anthrax), and my lemon spaghetti was born in the middle of a miserable working week and the idea of cooking just made me want to shriek (in a totes masc4masc way). It also shows just how much Nigella Lawson is embossed on my brain as it turns out this is very similar if not identical to her lemon linguine from her very first series of Bites/How To Eat, but I had a bit of cream left from another recipe and it was a case of let’s use that up whilst also rummaging around to see what would make a decent fast meal for one.
You don;t have to cook the sauce, just toss it through the drained, cooked pasta until warmed through in the residual heat of the pan. What I also love about this recipe is that it’s another slap in the face to the clean eating brigade. Carbs, fat and lots of them. It sounds rich but the lemon cuts that, making it both creamy and light at the same time. If you do have parmesan cheese in the fridge, then swap the cheddar for that. I just didn’t have any parmesan in the day I made this. You can also use tagliatelle or linguine if you have those knocking about…long pasta is much better suited for this type of sauce, but at a pinch you can use short cut pasta like penne or fusili if that’s all you have in the house…
Finally…sorry the photo is appalling. I almost forgot to snap it until I’d sat down to eat and consequently this is the result.
Serves 1 but can be doubled for 2.
Creamy Lemon Spaghetti
1 egg yolk
zest and juice 1 lemon (this is to taste)
1-2 tbsp Grated cheddar
3-4 tbsp double cream (approx)
1 tbsp butter (approx)
- Set a pan of water on to boil and once it is boiling, salt generously – as Anna Del Conte once said, the water you cook pasta in must be as ‘salty as the Mediterranean’ – and slip in the strands of spaghetti.
- In a small bowl, whisk together (a fork is fine for this) the egg yolk, cheddar cheese, cream, lemon zest and juice, along with some black pepper, until you have a pale primrose-hued emulsion.
- When the spaghetti is ready but still with a little bite, drain, reserving a small amount of the starchy cooking water, and place back into the hot pan.
- Pour over the creamy sauce and stir until warmed through and all the spaghetti is coated, with a little of the reserved pasta water to help the sauce amalgamate with the pasta. You want it well-dressed but not drowning in sauce.
- Pour into a bowl, find a comfy spot, stick on Netflix and dive in.