So, coming up with menus that are based on lemons is easy, and one of my favorite things to do. You can imagine my excitement when Trader Joe's started carrying Lemon Pepper pasta. This is one of the most flavorful pastas I've ever tasted. Literally, eating it with just olive oil or butter is very satisfying, but my favorite way to serve this pasta is how I prepared it for a recent five course Lazy Lemony Dinner Party. I'll share the full dinner party menu later, but for now wanted to give you a good Springy (or Summery) dinner recipe:
Shopping List (Enough for 2)
Dry Goods Aisle
Lemon Pepper Pappardelle Pasta
Olive Oil (if you don't already have)
Bag o' lemons
Two (2) bags o' sliced mushrooms
Bag o' your favorite lettuce
Variations -- I like it plain and simple because I think the flavor of the pasta is best accented by the simplest of additions, so I suggest only one or two additions, but feel free to be creative according to your own tastes:
- Grate Parmigiano Reggiano (from the CHEESE SECTION) -- on top when complete.
- Add precooked sliced chicken (from REFRIGERATOR/PREPARED FOODS Section) -- throw into the sautee for the final couple of minutes to warm.
- Add fresh or frozen shrimp (from the FROZEN FOOD SECTION) -- add frozen to sautee at the beginning, fresh after a minute or two.
- Add asparagus, sliced zucchini or anything you love in the VEGGIE SECTION
- Add artichoke hearts (from the CANNED FOOD SECTION)
- Walk in the kitchen!
- Get a pot of water boiling.
- Add salt and a dash of olive oil to the water.
- While it comes to a boil...Get out a sautee pan and turn on the heat.
- Add olive oil.
- When oil is warm, add mushrooms and sautee.
- Add juice from 1/2 lemon and salt to taste.
- When the water is boiling, add pasta. (NOTE:The package says it takes 8 to 10 minutes, but if the water is at a rolling boil I find it only takes 5 minutes.)
- Chop the chives.
- Put the lettuce in a bowl, put some large gratings of Parmigiano Reggiano - even thin slices are good. You just want to give it some texture.
- Squeeze 1/2 lemon, drizzle some olive oil on the salad. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Drain pasta. Toss in a bowl with the mushrooms and fresh chives. Add some grated Parmigiano Reggiano on top, if you wish.