Lemons – Tiny Cathedrals of Gold

Lemons, their pitted, nay, prehistoric, skins secreting golden oil,

Shielding sourness, evoking memories of a grandmother’s kitchen,

A grandfather’s garden.

Born in the East, fruitful India,

A kiss of cold, albeit fleeting, spawns the yellow

Immortalized  in stone, paint, and clay.

A fruit reverenced,

Blossoming from mountain and lake,

Urging cooks to slice, pierce, and squeeze,

Inspiring miracles among the pots and pans.

Lemon curd …

Lemon pie …

Lemon chicken …

Preserved lemons …

Limoncello …

Such richness!

Pasta with Lemon and Mint
Serves 4

2 tablespoons butter
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Zest and juice of two large unsprayed lemons (or one Almalfi lemon)
2-3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
½ t. fresh cracked black pepper
Pinch of red pepper flakes, to taste
Pinch of nutmeg
Generous handful of fresh basil and Italian parsley, finely chopped
1 T. sniped chives
1 T. finely chopped fresh mint
A cup or more of finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Sea salt, to taste
1 lb. linguine or spaghetti pasta

Stir all the ingredients except the pasta together in a large serving bowl.

Cook the pasta until al dente. Add about 3/4 cup of the boiling cooking water to the lemon mixture before draining the pasta. Toss the hot pasta with the sauce until well coated. Let pasta sit for a few minutes to cool a bit and soak up some of the liquid. Taste for saltiness. Add more cheese if desired, and serve topped with fine shreds of mint leaves. (Good cold, too!)

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