Summer is a time for fresh ingredients, and light dishes. Lemons are packed full of summery flavor, and though they're lovely in a tart lemonade, this pasta dish from America's Test Kitchen is a perfect way to infuse the delicate brightness of citrus into a dish. Serve this spaghetti hot, with a seasonal salad on the side (tomatoes, maybe?) or have it cold for a refreshing meal on a hot day.
1 pound spaghetti
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil , plus more for serving
1 medium shallot , minced (about 3 tablespoons)
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons finely grated zest (about 1 lemon)
1/4 cup juice from 2-3 lemons
1 ounce finely grated Parmesan cheese (about 1/2 cup), plus more for serving
Ground black pepper
2 tablespoons shredded fresh basil leaves or oregano
Bring four quarts water to boil in large Dutch oven (or pot or what have you) over high heat. Add one tablespoon salt and pasta to boiling water; cook, stirring frequently, until al dente. Reserve 1 3/4 cups cooking water, drain pasta into colander, and set aside.
Heat one tablespoon oil in now-empty Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add shallot and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook until shallot is softened, about two minutes. Whisk 1 1/2 cups of reserved pasta cooking water and cream into pot; bring to simmer and cook for two minutes. Remove pot from heat, return pasta, and stir until coated. Stir in remaining three tablespoons oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, cheese, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
Cover and let pasta stand two minutes, tossing frequently and adjusting consistency with remaining 1/4 cup reserved pasta water if necessary. Stir in basil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve, drizzling individual portions with extra virgin olive oil and Parmesan cheese.