Sunday, June 27, 2010

Meyer lemon spaghetti with goat cheese

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Dinner for one: Spaghetti with Meyer lemon and goat cheese

When I was young, single and living in New York City, I often ended the day with a simple bowl of pasta. I was working long hours in the publishing business, and while I did have a social life, there were plenty of 14-hour workdays when I'd arrive home at 11pm starving, exhausted and fed up. On nights like that, a bowl of hot pasta with olive oil and garlic was a good friend indeed.

My husband Michael is a protein kind of guy, so my bowl of pure carbohydrate comfort doesn't appeal to him. But today one kid was away on a playdate, and Michael and the other son had gigantic burritos for lunch. When dinnertime rolled around, I was the only one who needed a meal. And I needed a warm bowl of pasta.

This is one of the simplest, yet most delicious, pasta dishes I know. It requires only a few ingredients: spaghetti or angel hair, a lemon, some cheese, a splash of olive oil. If you're feeling fancy and have fresh basil (I didn't), slice it into thin strips and toss it in. Be sure to inhale deeply before you take the first bite - it adds significantly to the pleasure.

[Scroll down for the recipe]



Meyer lemon spaghetti with goat cheese
  • 1/2 lb spaghetti or angel hair pasta
  • 1 Meyer lemon (you can substitute regular lemon, but don't use as much of the juice or it will be too sour)
  • 1/2 cup grated Grana Padano or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 2 ounces fresh, soft goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water, then add the pasta. Cook until the pasta is al dente, and not a moment longer.

While the pasta is cooking, grate the zest of the Meyer lemon into a large bowl. Juice the lemon into the same bowl, then add the cheeses, olive oil, a pinch of salt, and a healthy grind of black pepper. Ladle a bit of the hot pasta cooking water from the pot into the bowl. Whisk everything together until it's smooth.

When the pasta is cooked al dente, drain it and add it to the bowl with the lemon mixture. Toss, grind on a bit more pepper, and eat. Makes dinner for two, or dinner for one plus tomorrow's lunch.

31 comments:

Kim at Rustic Garden Bistro said...

Erika, I also love a good pasta dinner, and made it "for one" recently when Mr. RGBistro was engaged for the night. This looks delicious! [K]

Erika said...

Thanks Kim! We can put it on the menu when we come down to dine in your garden...when is that anyway? We need to set a date!

Erika said...

Hey friends - which of the two photos in this post should I submit to Tastespotting and Foodgawker? I can't decide....

Mac said...

Like them both! Leaning toward 1st one.

Funny, youngest daughter had something similar for dinner tonight, too. Nothing beats basic comfort!

Your recipe is a great excuse to have a bowl all my own. :-)

Lauren said...

This pasta dish sounds so fresh and light - I must track down some Meyer lemons!

SMITH BITES said...

I've made this very dish - so luscious and quick - nothing satisfies the tummy quite like a bowl of great pasta!

Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite said...

Lemon and pasta are one of my favourite combinations and adding goat cheese in the mix? Heavenly!

Erika said...

Lauren, if you're in southern CA, I have lots of Meyer lemons on my tree and am willing to share....

Lisa said...

I spotted your photo on foodgawking, and I fell in love immediately - it looks like the perfect weeknight dish! I adore goat cheese with pasta, especially with a drizzle of honey and an (admittedly unusual) pinch of herbes de provence.

- Lisa, www.pocketfulofchocolate.com

Erika said...

Lisa, so glad you made it here! Pasta with goat cheese, honey and herbes de provence - that's a combo I haven't tried (not on pasta, anyway). Sounds delicious!

Patti at Worth The Whisk said...

OMG you had me at lemon. Or was it pasta? Maybe it was goat cheese.

Monet said...

I just found your blog through Mary on One Perfect Bite, and I'm so glad that I did. I am a carb junkie, and this dish of pasta seems like heaven!

Diane {createdbydiane.blogspot.com} said...

Oh that sounds right up my alley...I'm a carb girl and love bowls of pasta! I will be trying this soon as I have goat cheese in the fridge :)

Erika said...

@Patti Pasta with Meyer lemon seems to be getting a lot of people's attention!

@Money Welcome - so glad you came to visit!

@Diane - maybe craving a bowl of pasta is in our DNA...us tri-state area girls have to stick together!

Sippity Sup said...

Such a sophisticated set of flavors. I really like this. I also vote for the bulls-eye shot on the bottom for the photo bullies and taste meanies! They'll love it. GREG

Erika said...

Thanks Sippity! The photo on the bottom got into Foodgawker, but I'm still waiting for Tastespotting to decide. They must be on vacation (or really backed up!).

Jean said...

I love this! Both shots were beautiful, by the way!

Julie @ Willow Bird Baking said...

Ohh I want this!

Tastespotting has been churning a bit slow lately, imo! Must have tons of photos in the queue :)

Erika said...

So now we know: Tastespotting took the first photo. Maybe because Foodgawker took the second!

Erika said...

Patti @WorththeWhisk may be too shy to post her link here, but I'm not: She took this recipe one step further with whole wheat pasta! See her version here: http://worththewhisk.com/2010/06/30/lemon-and-goat-cheese-pasta/

sarah said...

Erika can you tell me (and maybe some other of us folks in the Northeast) what is the difference between a Meyer lemon and a regular one? I'm guessing it's sweeter?

Erika said...

Ah, sorry, Sarah. A Meyer lemon is a cross between a lemon and a sour orange, I believe. It is thinner-skinned than a normal lemon and much juicier, and very sweet (for a lemon). The juice has an almost floral taste. They're hard to get on the east coast but grow in many backyards in southern California. Definitely worth trying if you can find them.

baobabs said...

Thanks for sharing this very simple and fantastic recipe! I have alot of meals on my own and i LOVE pasta and cheese. I also never had a Meyer lemon growing up in southeast asia and living in China.

I've some st maure at home and will attempt the pasta tonight!

marla {family fresh cooking} said...

This pasta looks amazing-just added a link to it on my recipe for 3 Cheese Spaghetti nests. xo

Erika said...

Thanks Marla!

Patricia said...

Erika,
I made this recipe and loved it so much I blogged about it and I linked to your post. Thank you so much!
http://lifeasiliveit-patricia.blogspot.com/2011/01/i-am-chef-meyer-lemon-spaghetti.html
Patricia

Anonymous said...

I just made this tonight for dinner and it was delicious! Thank you for sharing the recipe.

Erika said...

@Patricia - I am honored!

@Anon - so glad you enjoyed it!

Daisy said...

I loved the simplicity of this dish. I invite you to check out my rendition of it at:
http://daisyt13.wordpress.com/2012/01/09/meyer-lemons-pasta-with-lemon-olive-oil-and-goat-cheese/

daisy

Anonymous said...

I had never tried this combination with pasta before. It has now become my go-to dish when I don't have many ingredients, time, or energy. So simple, easy, and delicious! I prefer it over alfredo or marinara any day. Thank you Erika!

chefjeff1 said...

WOW....dinner at Camp Jeff and Owen last night was THE BEST! We're skinny guys, yet Owen always rides me when I indulge in Alfredo type creamy dishes....well this version was light, yet still evoked the richness of an Alfredo sauced dish. My new "go to" pasta. Much thanks Erika for sharing.
Cheers,
J

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