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Angel Hair Pasta with Lemon Cream Sauce

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Serves four as a first course

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 77

If you happen to have some grappa on hand, the fiery Italian spirit is a delicious alternative for the gin in this recipe.

  • Kosher salt
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup gin or grappa
  • 12 oz. fresh angel hair pasta
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Set a large pot of salted water over high heat and bring to a boil.

Meanwhile, finely grate the zest of one of the lemons; set aside. Cut a thick slice off both ends of the zested lemon to expose the flesh. Stand the fruit upright, then cutting from the top down, remove the peel, including all the white pith. Holding the fruit over a bowl to catch the juice, use a paring knife to cut along either side of each segment to free it from the membranes; let each segment fall into the bowl as you go. Once you’ve removed all the segments, squeeze any juice from the membranes into the bowl and then discard. Remove the seeds and set the segments aside in another small dish. Measure the juice in the bowl. Cut the remaining lemon in half and squeeze to obtain 2 Tbs. juice total.

In a 12-inch skillet over medium heat, place the cream, gin or grappa, and lemon segments and bring just to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until the cream thickens slightly, 5 to 8 min. Remove from the heat.

When the water boils, cook the pasta according to package directions until just al dente. Drain. Reheat the cream sauce over medium-low heat.

Add the lemon juice to the sauce, along with the drained pasta and half of the grated lemon zest. Toss the pasta in the warm sauce to coat thoroughly. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve in warmed pasta bowls. Sprinkle with the remaining lemon zest and the parsley.

Serving Suggestions

If serving as a dinner, start with a hearty green salad.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : based on 4 servings; Calories (kcal): 590; Fat (g): fat g 23; Fat Calories (kcal): 210; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 14; Protein (g): protein g 12; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 7; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 68; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1.5; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 170; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 80; Fiber (g): fiber g 2;

Photo: Scott Phillips

The recipe is simple and an excellent example of lemon cream sauce which many have difficulty with, the previous poster said she did not like liquor in food and the gin overpowered it, This recipe like all that use liquors, are misunderstood by many people the liqur is evaporated out of the dish during cooking and is not meant the way the previous individual described, the essence of the liquor is all that remains and thus would not likely overpower the dish liquors are added for complexity and flavor building, and not to add an alcohol content

This recipe is definitely worth a try since it is tasty and super quick to make. The only reason I'm giving it 4 stars instead of 5 was that the gin overpowered the dish (and, wine aside, I'm personally not a fan of the taste of liquor in food). Next time I plan on cutting the amount of gin in half or substitute white wine.

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