Tagliatelle with Walnuts and Lemon

If Yotam Ottolenghi was my personal chef, I could be vegetarian full-time.  The recipes in his new book Plenty More are dazzling in their riot of colors, and immensely satisfying without being chef-fy fussy.  This recipe took about 20 to 25 minutes from start to table.  Lemon tamed by a little cream completes a silky sage-y sauce that takes literally moments to make .  Deliciously satisfying.  I feel spoiled.

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Serves 2

2/3 cup walnuts, roughly broken up

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/3 cup sage leaves, finely shredded

grated zest of 1 lemon

3 tablespoons heavy cream

10 oz tagliatelle (I used fettuccine)

1-3/4 cups Parmesan, shaved

1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped

2 tablespoons lemon juice

salt and black pepper

This recipe goes like lightning after the walnuts and pasta are cooked, so it’s really important to measure the rest of the ingredients out before you get started.

1.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Spread the walnuts on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 15 minutes.  Remove and set aside.

2.  As soon as the walnuts are in the oven, bring a large pan of salted water to a boil and add the pasta.  Cook for 8 minutes or until al dente. Drain, reserving about 1/2 cup off the pasta water.

3.  Okay, this is the fast part.  As soon as the pasta is cooked and the walnuts are toasted, place a saute pan over medium-high heat and add the butter.  Cook for 1 minute, then add the sage and fry for about 2 minutes, until the butter starts to brown. Add the lemon zest, cream, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and plenty of freshly ground black pepper and stir and cook for just a few seconds. Remove from the heat at once so the cream doesn’t separate.  Add the pasta and toss in the sauce, then add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of pasta water, the walnuts, lemon juice, Parmesan and parsley.  Toss well and serve right away.  So luscious it made my head spin!

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