I was looking for a tasty side dish to pair with pan-roasted pork tenderloin and came across a recipe in "Everyday Italian" by Giada DeLaurentis.
The combination of lemon and Parmesan cheese sounded like it would be a nice compliment to the meat and a simple side of steamed asparagus.
After reading the recipe, I decided (of course) to make a couple of my own modifications.
So, here is my version, with a little more cheese than she called for and with some garlic that she did not call for.
2/3 cup olive oil
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 pound dried spaghetti
1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped
1 tablespoon lemon zest
salt and pepper
Cook spaghetti according to package directions.
Meanwhile, whisk together olive oil, Parmesan, lemon juice and garlic. Salt and pepper to taste.
Once pasta is cooked, reserve 1/2 cup of cooking liquid, then drain pasta.
Toss pasta with lemon sauce, basil and lemon zest. If you want the pasta to be saucier, toss in reserved pasta water, 1/4 cup at a time to get desired consistency.
This was a great side for my roasted pork. The lemon gave it nice little zing and the garlic I added gave it more of the bite I was hoping for.
I think this would be good on its own as a simple dinner with a salad. It also seems like it would pair well with grilled shrimp or fish.