Lemon crème fraiche pasta

I hope you´ll forgive me if I´m not very charming today. It´s just one of those days. A Wednesday, freezing cold, the rain is falling horizontally and on the way to work my left boot developed a hole. There´s nothing worse than a sodden sock. My fridge is bare, and by the time I got home the shops were closed.

Today, of all days, I need carbs.

This is what I cook when it´s grim and raining outside and work has been miserable enough to justify a carbfest for dinner.  I´ve usually got the ingredients in the cupboard, this only needs one pot and it takes literally ten minutes. I mean really, ten minutes. It´s just the kind of thing you need to cheer you up after a long day.

Serves 1

80-100 g pasta (penne, spaghetti or linguine any simple shape works)

2-4 tablespoons crème fraiche (you can substitute cream or greek yoghurt)

1/2 lemon

30-40 gm parmesan

1. Pasta

Start cooking the pasta in plenty of salted water. I guess a long skinny one is what you are supposed to use but I hate standing over the pot coaxing it into the water so I use penne.

2. Mise-en-place

Arrange your sauce. This means washing the lemon well (you´ll use the rind), find some kind of creamy stuff (creme fraiche is ideal, UHT cream is fine and greek yoghurt works well too). Grate a pile of parmesan, and then the lemon rind.  By this time your pasta should almost be done, reserve some of the cooking water (just in case, if you´re using cream or greek yoghurt you probably won´t need it). Drain the penne (a bit of water is a good thing).

3. Mix Up

QUICKLY mix in the dairy, half the lemon juice and lemon rind THEN start mixing in the cheese, fast. The heat from the pasta should melt the cheese into the liquids to create a clingy sauce. You have to be quick here or it could all end in tears (i.e. a clumpy, claggy sauce). If it tastes too lemony add more cheese, and vice versa.

Serve, preferably on the couch in front of the TV.


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