This pasta is on the lighter side. I felt like making something vegetarian, fresh, but still creamy and full of noodles. There are a ton of alfredo and creamy sauce recipes out there that require cups of cream and pounds of butter. But not this one! The other thing is, besides the cream, there really isn’t any other flavor in these sauces. I really wanted something that would taste fresh so I added a little lemon flavor to this noodle dish.
The combination of lemon, red pepper, and shallots gives this spaghetti such a simple and flavorful finish!
You’re probably wondering what makes this dish creamy, right? I used a just few tablespoons of half and half and a little bit of butter for the creaminess. You really don’t need much more, since there are other flavors going on in here.
I ate this as a lunch all by itself. And then for a midnight snack, or two. You can always throw some grilled chicken on it and have a more filling meal, which is what I might try next time I make this!
- 12 ounces spaghetti
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 shallots, minced
- ¼ teaspoon cornstarch
- 4 tablespoons half and half
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 4 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
- Bring water to a boil in a large pot. Add a generous pinch of sea salt and add pasta. Cook until al dente. Drain but reserve 1 ½ cup cooking water. Set aside.
- In a large skillet (large enough to hold the cook pasta eventually), heat ½ of the olive oil and butter on medium-low heat. Add salt, shallot, and red pepper flakes and cook uncovered until fragrant and until the shallot is softened. Don’t let the shallot brown up, it will taste bad.
- Whisk in cornstarch, half and half, and most of the reserved pasta water (leave a couple tablespoons behind for later). Cook about 2 minutes, until it’s slightly thickened.
- Remove from heat, add the cooked pasta and toss until coated. Add the rest of the olive oil, lemon zest and juice, parmesan cheese and salt and pepper to taste.
- Toss frequently until well combined and until sauce is thickened. Keep adding pasta water if the pasta starts to feel too dry or sticky.
- Toss in basil, and serve immediately.