Fettucine Limone Parmeggiano

Sophie and her chef fiance, Victor, are going on a pre-honeymoon trip to Verona, Italy where they plan to spend some time together before their wedding.  Instead of the romantic vacation she planned, Sophie finds herself traipsing all over Italy with Victor while he does culinary research for his new restaurant.  It soon becomes clear to Sophie that Victor's top priority is not Sophie, but his new restaurant.  Poor Victor doesn't even realize his ways.  He's so obsessed with food and everything regarding it that he doesn't even realize he's losing Sophie.


As soon as I observed Victor's behavior I completely identified with it.  How hard would it be to love food and not get consumed by it while in Italy?  I don't really fault him.  I would most likely behave in a similar way.  Maybe not to the extreme he did, but still.  Poor Sophie.  If only she were a noodle, or a great vintage wine, or perhaps a truffle then maybe then she would get some attention from Victor.

The movie inspired me to keep my priorities in check and not be so consumed with food.  I decided to make a quick dish, one that can be made in the time it takes to cook the pasta.  Don't you just love those types of meals?  I've always wanted to make Pasta Limone, a dish redolent with lemons, parmesan, and lots of fresh basil.  I picture this as the type of thing I would eat if I traveled to Italy.

Fettucine Limone ParmeggianoAdapted from Gwyneth Paltrow's My Father's DaughterServes 4
3/4 pound fettucine Coarse salt1 lemon1-1/2 cups finely grated fresh Parmesan, plus extra for serving1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper2-1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil3-5 tablespoons of pasta water, to thinHandful fresh basil leaves
Boil the fettucine in salted boiling water, according to the package directions.  
Meanwhile, using a Microplane, grate the zest from the lemon into a large mixing bowl.  Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice into the bowl.  Add the 1-1/2 cups Parmesan, pepper, and a pinch of salt, and mix in the olive oil to form a wet paste.
When the fettucine is perfectly cooked, add 2 or 3 tablespoons of the cooking water to the lemon and cheese mixture.  Add the fettucine to the bowl and toss thouroughly, adding another tablespoon or 2 of pasta water if necessary so that the sauce coats each strand.  Roughly tear in the basil leaves.
Serve each portion with a sprinkle of coarse salt, a fresh grind of black pepper, and a few gratings of extra Parmesan.Notes/Results:  This pasta dish was so fragrant.  The smell of lemon and basil just permeated the kitchen.  We could definitely taste the lemon, which we loved, and we found this dish to be refreshing and light.  At the same time, there was a certain creaminess to the pasta (from the cheese and the addition of pasta water) and it was very satisfying.  Another selling point was that I was finally able to showcase some of my opal (purple) basil.  Purple is one of my favorite colors and I searched high and low for purple basil this season.  I didn't notice a difference in the flavor of the basil, but the color sure does make me happy.  All in all, a great and quick pasta dish!
Food 'n Flix is being hosted right here at Stirring the Pot this month.  It's not too late to submit your recipe inspired by the movie Letters To Juliet.  For information regarding a submission, please click HERE.