I actually first posted about a pasta recipe with a creamy, eggy lemon sauce the first week this blog was live, back in 2009. The recipe was inspired by one by Dave Lieberman, whose boy-next-door good looks, and proclivity for challah bread pudding and stuffed cabbage caught my attention when he was briefly on Food Network, hosting his fantastic show, which focused on fresh, affordable, simple foods, Good Deal with Dave Lieberman.
When the San Francisco-based pasta company, Three Bridges sent me some fresh pappardelle (a wide, tender noodle), I knew I had to break it out again.
The key to getting really rich, lemony flavor is a one-two punch of both lemon juice and lemon zest.
Though there is a little bit of technique involved, the dish is actually pretty simple. The main work is in whisking the sauce, which is cooked over boiling water, so the eggs cook gently with the half-and-half and lemon without scrambling.
If you have a double boiler, this is a great time to use it, but if, like me, you don't, just make your own with a bowl and a pot.
All that whisking really pays off though, because the sauce is utterly decadent. I top the sauced pasta with more lemon zest, plus parsley and coarsely chopped, lightly toasted almonds for crunch.
Serve this with a crisp green salad and Prosecco or another crisp white wine.
- 3 egg yolks $1.50 for 6 eggs
- 2/3 cup half-and-half $1.50 for a half-pint
- 3 garlic cloves, minced Pantry
- zest and juice of 1 lemon (reserve a little zest for garnish) $1
- salt and pepper to taste Pantry
- 8 ounces pappardelle, fresh or dried (if you can't find pappardelle, use fettucine, linguine, or any other wide, long-strand pasta) $3
- 1/8 cup chopped, toasted almonds $3 (buy in the bulk section for the best price)
- a handful of fresh parsley, chopped finely $1 for a bunch
Recipe Serves 2
- Combine the egg yolks, half-and-half, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste in a heatproof bowl (or in the top of a double boiler).
- Place over a pot of boiling water (check out the photo in the introduction to get a sense of how this should look--make sure the bowl is large enough to sit on top of the pot without falling in).
- Whisk until the mixture thickens into a pale yellow, smooth sauce (depending on the size of your bowl, this could take anywhere from 3 to 7 minutes).
- Remove the sauce from heat and set aside.
- In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pappardelle according to directions.
- As soon as the pappardelle is cooked, toss it with the sauce.
- Use tongs or forks to divide the pasta into bowls and top each one with a sprinkling of almonds, parsley, and more black pepper if desired.