I rarely order pasta when dining out.....mainly because the pasta portions restaurants serve are g-normous. Who could eat all that? But making it at home is a different matter. With dishes like this, you have control over portion size and while I am not a huge pasta eater, now and then I like to make easy pasta recipes. One of my favorites is Ina Garten's summer pasta, which I posted recently. And now I've found another, perfect for one or two. While we prefer the nutty taste of whole wheat pasta in my family, this recipe caught my eye and I bought regular spaghetti to make it. Makes for a prettier presentation with the mascarpone sauce. It was lemony and altogether fabulous. Love the crunch from the hazelnuts.
Spaghetti with Mascarpone, Meyer Lemon, Spinach, and Hazelnuts
Slightly adapted from The Kitchn
1 Meyer lemon, zested and juiced (about 3 tablespoons juice)
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
a few grinds of fresh pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 pound spaghetti
5 cups (loosely packed) fresh spinach, washed, spun dry, and roughly chopped
1/2 cup chopped, toasted hazelnuts
Combine the zest, lemon juice, mascarpone, garlic, salt, pepper, and nutmeg in a bowl. Whisk to combine.
Bring a pot of water to boil and salt generously. Cook the pasta until al dente, taking it off the heat about 1 to 2 minutes before you would normally remove it. Drain, reserving about 1/2 cup of the pasta water.
Return the pasta to the pot, and set over low heat. Stir in the mascarpone sauce. Add the spinach and toss so that the spinach begins to wilt. If you need to, add some pasta water to keep the sauce somewhat fluid. (I didn't) Continue to cook and toss until the spinach is cooked. Add the hazelnuts and stir to combine. Serve immediately.