I was walking by a little pizzeria in the East Village—one I've never been to and may never go to—and I slowed my gait to glance at the menu. My eyes happened to land on a pasta dish. I don't remember exactly what it was called, but it involved lemon and parmesan, and not much else. Lemon! So obvious. Why had I never thought of that? The next night I made this for dinner. —Michael Hoffman
4 as a pasta course, 2 as a main
pasta, preferably a delicate, flat shape
lemon, juiced, zest reserved. You'll only need half a lemon's worth of juice.
While the pasta boils in well salted water, heat the butter with the lemon zest in a large skillet over medium heat.
Once the butter has melted and foamed, stir in the half-lemon's worth of juice and season with salt and pepper. Stir and simmer for 30 seconds.
Once the pasta almost tender, transfer it to the skillet using a slotted spoon or similar device. You want a few ounces of water to come along with the pasta. Stir the pasta to incorporate it into the sauce and finish its cooking.
Turn off the heat and stir in 3/4 cup of the parmesan. Check for seasoning. Transfer to warmed bowls and garnish with the remaining parmesan. Serve immediately!