This is one of my favorite pasta's for a few reasons. One is I love all things lemon, two is I love a mix of textures and this gets that silky beautiful sauce, and adds crispy lemon slices. Heaven is all I can say!
It was concocted after having a fritto misto dish at a restaurant near my home. It has the usual fish, but also fried lemon slices and fried olives...I'm always trying to steel the lemons from my hubby!
Whatever you do, don't skip doing the lemon slices. You won't believe what it brings to the dish, once the lemon slices are fried they become a little sweeter but still have a tang and get crispy delicious.
This does have butter and cream, it's not a super light dish, but the different uses of lemon really make it not be too rich.
The lemon halves that caramelize in the pan with the browning butter get sweet and extra juicy .Then you have the zest that sits in the cream to impart flavor there, and last but not least those crispy slices that I keep talking about!
The only thing you need with this is a simply dressed salad and some crusty bread for any extra sauce.
Lemon and brown butter pasta
1 1lb bag of pasta of choice
Zest of 1 lemon
3 lemons 1 sliced very thin 2 halved after zesting one
3 Tb flour for dredging lemon slices
4 cloves garlic minced
3 tsp dried onion flakes
3 stems of fresh thyme leaves pulled off the stem
1 cup heavy cream
1 stick unsalted butter
3 Tb olive oil
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 cup of pasta water after pasta has cooked for sauce
Parsley or fresh chives chopped for garnish
Salt and pepper to taste
Cook pasta per pkg instructions but just to al dente the pasta will finish cooking in the sauce.
Be sure to adequately salt your pasta water, it should be salty like sea water.
In a small bowl combine the thyme leaves and the zest of 1 lemon with the cream and let sit.
In a small bowl add flour, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix and dredge the lemon slices to coat well.
Heat the olive oil in a small skillet (if you don't have a solid covering of oil in your pan add enough to do so) over medium high heat and pan fry lemons just until golden brown on both sides. This will not take long.
Over med/low heat in a stainless steel pan melt butter and place lemon halves in with the butter. Watch butter carefully as it begins to brown, it can go from browning to burnt very quickly. You want the bottom to be a consistent golden brown. When that has happened add your garlic and stir for a minute to release its oils and flavor.
Add the cream mixture and 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking liquid and let simmer until thickened. Take out the lemon halves, and add in the pasta and let cook until pasta is heated through.
Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.
Squeeze the cooked lemon over the pasta, top with the crispy lemon slices, parsley or chives and serve.