Friday, September 28, 2012

meyer lemon pasta with fresh herbs and toasted walnuts




Since creating A Glorious Summer Pasta in early August, and receiving so many delightful messages from my readers who have tried it, I've been on a mission to create and share another pasta dish with the same attributes: delicious, simple to make, quick enough for a week night meal - yet, dinner party worthy as well!  This fresh Meyer Lemon Pasta absolutely fits that description!  In addition, with a very low fat content, and incorporation of whole grain pasta, if desired, you've got healthy too!  If you crave light and fresh pasta dishes any time of the year, like me, you are going to love this!






I was going crazy with the scent of the lovely ingredients coming together while this dish was sautéing.  The diced shallot and minced garlic softening and becoming fragrant in the hot olive oil and butter, then the addition of just the right amount of sweetness from the  juice and zest of the meyer lemon, you can probably imagine what I mean!

For the fresh herbs, I chose Italian flat leaf parsley, because I love the slight peppery taste it exudes, and tarragon, which imparts a bit of spiciness.  They harmonized so well with the meyer lemon; however, feel free to use any of your favorite herbs.  Although this is a delicious meatless pasta, with some protein added from the toasted walnuts - grilled shrimp or chicken would compliment it beautifully.





Pick up some fresh herbs, a couple meyer lemons…you'll probably have the other lovely ingredients on hand - and in about 30 minutes, you'll be enjoying this aromatic, savory, pasta creation!  …and don't forget the wine!  :)

On Monday, come on by a cup of mascarpone for a scrumptious pumpkin dessert!  Have a beautiful weekend!

Until next time…mangia!  xox

Carol






Meyer Lemon Pasta with Fresh Herbs and Toasted Walnuts
Serves 2 generously as an entrée or 4 as a side

Ingredients:

8 ounces spaghetti (I used whole wheat)
1 teaspoon salt for water
1/2-cup of reserved pasta water
1 extra large shallot, finely diced
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
zest of 1 meyer lemon
juice of 1-2 meyer lemons or equivalent of 1/4 cup
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
salt and ground pepper, to taste, if desired
small handful of fresh herbs of your choice, finely chopped (I used Italian flat parsley and tarragon)
freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano, if desired
1/3 cup of walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped

Create the pasta:

Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions, just until it's al dente.  Once pasta has finished cooking, reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water, before straining.  Strain pasta and set aside.

Heat olive oil and butter in a large sauté pan over high heat.  Once the butter has melted, reduce heat to medium-low and add the shallots and garlic.  Sauté one minute, stirring continuously, then reduce heat to low.  Continue sautéing for about 5 minutes, or until shallots are soft and fragrant.

Add the black pepper, lemon zest and lemon juice.  Continue to cook over low heat, stirring frequently, for one minute.

Add the reserved pasta water, increase heat to medium-low, and cook for about one minute.  Toss in the pasta, mixing well.  Taste and add salt and additional ground black pepper, if desired.

Remove from heat and toss with chopped herbs and garnish with toasted walnuts.

Lovely recipe adapted from Feast on the cheap.

Carol's note:
To toast the walnuts, I've always followed the baking directions from the professionals at California Walnuts, found here.  I cut back the toasting time to about 7 minutes, however.

40 comments:

  1. Oooo I haven't seen meyer lemons yet this year but when I get my hands on some I'll have to make this!

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    1. Thanks, Jen! It's delicious! If you have a Wegmans, they stock meyer lemons all year round! I pick them up every week to squeeze in my water! :) Have a great weekend!!!

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  2. Truly a unique dish. Certainly Food Network worthy. Bring your dish on The Chew and you may be able to make it with one of the chefs.

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  3. Beautiful pasta! I grow Meyer lemons but they are still green on the tree, a few months to go;-) I'm looking forward to Meyer lemon season for sure;-)

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    1. Hi Patty! How wonderful to have your own tree! I love meyer lemons!

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  4. I love the crunchy texture of nuts (toasted!) in pasta dishes. This looks incredible! I'm hooked on rosemary lately and always looking for excuses to play with it. :)

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    1. Hi Valerie! I bet rosemary would be delicious in the pasta! You must let me know if you try it!

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  5. I love the combination of walnuts and lemon in pasta - I can't wait to give this recipe a whirl. And thanks for the tip about Meyer lemons at Wegman's!

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    1. Thanks, Laura! The toasted walnuts add so much! You're welcome about the tip on Wegmans! Love that supermarket! I've literally called and asked them to save them for me until I get out of work, because they sell out so quick - and they have them there waiting for me! :)

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  6. What a lovely combination of flavors! Love the lemon and walnuts. Need to make this very soon!!!

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    1. Thank you, Lisa! It's so easy too - hope you have an opportunity to try it out!

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  7. This is a perfect pasta dish. Like I said on Instagram, what time is dinner? ;) I can't wait for the meyer lemons on my tree to ripen so I can try this!

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    1. It was so funny Laura! I was taking photos in 3 areas of my house to get the best lighting - and I was dying, because I wanted to eat it so badly! ;) Have a great weekend!

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    1. Thanks, Jessica! I love the toasted walnuts in it too - had to hold myself back from adding more! :)

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  9. Pasta is my middle name when it comes to dinner. Recipes like this are my absolute favorite; I love the idea of whole wheat pasta. Great and simple recipe Carol!

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    1. Hi Paula! Thanks for noticing the whole wheat pasta! In addition to it being much healthier, I love the taste! I love your middle name, by the way! :)

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  10. Yum, I love that this dish is so simple and fresh. Great meal to put together on week night when busy.

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    1. Perfect for a week night! I totally agree, it's so simple and fresh! :)

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  11. Gorgeous! Sounds so simple, but delicious! I love the walnuts on top, great touch!

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    1. Morning, Erin! Thanks so much, it really is simple and so good! Thanks for stopping by!

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  12. Every time I see a big bowl of pasta I start drooling. You've incorporated some of my favorite flavors here and I love its overall simplicity. My Meyer lemon tree is very good at giving me fruit year round--this would be the perfect dish to have anytime. :)

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    1. Hi Jean! Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment! I have a friend from high school in the San Francisco area also, and he mentioned the same thing about the meyer lemons! You are so lucky - I adore them! I could literally eat one like an orange! ;)

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  13. My dad just brought over a lemon tree he was growing for us this past year. I hope it's Meyer lemons;)Love this fresh and delicious pasta idea, Carol:)

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    1. Thank you so much, Lora!! That's so nice of your Dad! Any lemon tree will be wonderful, even if it's not Meyer lemons. How great to pick lemons any time you want! I have to check into how well one would grow here, outside of DC.

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  14. The epitome of fresh, fast, and easy! I love these kinds of pasta and could eat this every night! I love the fact that you used meyer lemon zest and juice to make this dish. Even though I am sick, I can almost taste the yumminess!

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    1. Hi Jen! Thank you so much for the kind comment! I hope you feel better soon!

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  15. This looks delicious! I just love Meyer lemons. Thank you for the recipe and inspiration :)

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    1. Thank you, Kristen! I hope you enjoy it! Just noticed the meyer lemon martini posted on your blog! If it wasn't after 10:00 p.m., I'd be trying that out right now! :)

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    2. Carol,
      Just made this for my family tonight. I was a huge hit. Even my picky one year old loved it!

      Thanks again!

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    3. Oh Kristen, that makes me so happy to hear! Thank you so much for coming back to share this! Enjoy the rest of your week!

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  16. I think I'm gonna start the car and drive your way. It gives you plenty of time to make this dish by the time I get to your house.
    I love simple but yet elegant pasta dishes and this is definitely a keeper.

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    1. LOL, thanks Roxana! It will take you only about an hour to get here! You can bring along either your delicious homemade bread or something chocolate!!! :)

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  17. What a delicious dish! So glad you shared this at our Facebook party over at Manila Spoon's page. Your newest follower - Abby (Manila Spoon).

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    1. Abby, thank you so much for your kind comment! Thanks so much for hosting your party today! I found it's such a wonderful way to meet wonderful new bloggers! Thank you also for becoming a new follower, so appreciated!!! xox

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  18. You and I must share the same taste bud dna, this is the perfect pasta dish as far as I'm concerned!

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    1. Thanks, Sue! I consider that a huge compliment...since everything you make is incredible! This is such a fresh dish, perfect for alfresco dining and a nice chilled Pinot Grigio! :) Geeze, I'm making myself hungry and thirsty for this now...

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  19. This was great! We didn't have Meyer lemons so used regular and it was still delicious. If you have kids, two teaspoons of pepper may be a bit much (the four year old couldn't handle it but was fine for the 7 year old). DELICIOUS!!

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    1. So happy you and your family enjoyed this wonderful pasta recipe {except the 4 year old! lol}! Thanks so much for taking the time to write your kind comment to let me know! Please stop by again!!! Carol

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Hi! Thank you so much for stopping by a cup of mascarpone, and taking the time to leave a comment! I read, smile, and cherish each and every one of them! xox

Carol