Sunday, December 7, 2014

Baked Lemon Pasta

This recipe is from the Pioneer Woman blog.  As usual, I changed it a bit, but nothing too drastic.  I have another lemon spaghetti recipe that we love, but this one is different enough to have earned its own tiny spot in my pasta loving heart because it is AMAZING.  I can't even properly describe it, but it's creamy, savory, full of great parmesan flavor, and the lemon is perfect: light and mild within the baked pasta, but with occasional bites that have extra punch because of the additional juice drizzled on top at the end.  This is definitely a new favorite!  I'm even considering preparing just the sauce part and seeing how it tastes spooned over asparagus and other veggies.

I made a half recipe because my husband wasn't going to be eating it for dinner (he had several nights of leftover pizza to work on) and I wanted to try something I didn't think he'd enjoy.  He seriously dislikes angel hair pasta for some reason, is easily overwhelmed with lemon in savory dishes, and has some lactose intolerance issues that are especially bothered by sour cream.  Regardless, he tried a tiny bowl of this and really liked it, too.
One last thing- the pasta reheats great in the microwave.  It's a bit firmer, but the sauce part doesn't curdle or do anything weird. 

Baked Lemon Pasta
8 oz angel hair pasta
2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 C sour cream
salt to taste (I used 1 tsp total)
1/4 tsp pepper
1 lemon, zested and juiced
about 4 oz grated parmesan by weight, divided
about 1/2 C cilantro or parsley, minced
Preheat oven to 375 and grease a 1 quart baking dish.  Cook angel hair pasta in lightly salted water, drain, and return to pot. 

While the noodles cook, place the butter, olive oil, and garlic in a microwaveable bowl or cup and heat until garlic is light golden, about 90 seconds.  Stay close by and check on it every 30 seconds to make sure the garlic doesn't burn!  Stir sour cream, 1/4 tsp salt, pepper, the lemon zest, half of the lemon juice, and half of the parmesan into the butter-garlic mixture.  Taste and add more salt if needed.
Stir sour cream mixture into the cooked pasta and spoon into the prepared dish.  Bake until some of the noodles are a little golden, about 25 minutes.  Remove from oven, sprinkle with remaining lemon juice, then the remaining parmesan.  Return to oven until parmesan is melted, about 5 more minutes.  To serve,  you can either sprinkle the entire dish with the cilantro, or sprinkle it on individual plates of pasta.

Yield: about 3-4 servings

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