Lemon Spaghetti

So my kitchen is done.

Do I hear angels singing…?

All the elements that make it functional are in place.  Appliances, counters, sink-all finished.  It will take me some time to reorganize it and have things in their correct places, but for the most part, it is done.  We celebrated by christening the kitchen with one of our favorite meals.  Chicken Piccata w/Lemon Spaghetti and Roasted Asparagus.  Yeaaaaah baby!
Lemon Spaghetti I could eat this meal everyday!  With a few breaks for mashed potatoes and chocolate…

And steak.
And roast chicken.
But anyway…

The roasted asparagus is done the same way I roast just about every vegetable.  Toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, and roast at 425 until just tender.  Every time I find a fun new asparagus recipe to try, I hesitate and ultimately never make it because I just want to eat it this way.  Why mess with perfection?  And now is the time to enjoy it, people!  For those of you farther north, you may have to wait a few weeks, but asparagus season is early spring and only lasts for a few months.  Try to buy local (most of the asparagus you find off season is shipped from Peru or Mexico) and you will be rewarded with superior taste.  Eat as much as you can before it is gone for another year!

The Chicken Piccata recipe is from Giada De Laurentiis and can be found here.  It is simple, easy, and one of those dishes that feels special but can be put together on a Tuesday night with minimal effort.  We make this all the time!  At least once a month.  I think it is from her first cookbook Everyday Italian, an indispensable volume that I pull out on a regular basis.

Speaking of Giada, she is the creator of Evelyn’s most favorite food in the entire world.  Lemon Spaghetti.  And we do not ever make chicken piccata without it.  EVER.  Even though it is a versatile pasta that could be paired with any number of dishes, we usually always make it with the chicken piccata.  And take my word for it, and Giada’s for that matter, when I say that they go together perfectly.  But you can discover that for yourself.  Maybe even on a Tuesday.
Lemon Spaghetti Lemon Spaghetti
Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis
This pasta is simple, but has amazing flavor.  It would be great with just about anything grilled and the leftovers are fantastic cold.  Be sure to taste the dish just before serving.  If it isn’t seasoned enough, it just tastes like sour noodles.  You will know it has enough salt when it tastes wonderfully bright and nutty.  Try it with whole wheat noodles too!  This recipe serves 6 as a side dish.

1 lb thin spaghetti or vermicelli
1/2 c olive oil
3/4 c grated Parmesan
1/3 c fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper
zest of one lemon
1/2 c chopped fresh basil

Cook the pasta according to package directions, reserving 1/2 c of the pasta water just before you drain it.  Add the next four ingredients to a large serving bowl and stir to combine.  Add the hot pasta to the serving bowl and toss well, adding the pasta water to moisten, if necessary.  Top with lemon zest and basil, toss once more, taste for seasoning and serve.