It’s rare that I make pasta any other way than drenched with a beautiful red sauce. Sometimes, red sauce seems more fitting for the fall and winter seasons. Recently I look towards more simpler and lighter pasta dishes, without having to give up any flavor. And, with this pasta, you get quite a looker too.
Fine strands of pasta covered in parmesan cheese and flakes of panko bread crumbs offer richness, while the chile and lemon infused oil add depth and vibrancy. The addition of fresh arugula adds a peppery bite without adding any weight to the dish. Beautiful, delicious and perfect for a main course or to be served alongside a shrimp scampi, like I did when we had company over.
Angel Hair Pasta with Chile Lemon Oil and Arugula
slightly adapted from Shutterbean via Tyler Florence
Serves approximately 6 people
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons
- 2 cups panko bread crumbs
- salt and fresh cracked pepper
- 5 cloves garlic, slivered
- 1 tsp red chili flakes (I used 3 tsp because I like more heat. Adjust for your taste.)
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 1 pound angel hair pasta
- 6 cups arugula
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- In a skillet over medium heat, add two tablespoons of the olive oil. Then, add the breadcrumbs and stir to toast until golden brown. Add salt and pepper to mix in. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Wipe the pan clean and put it back on the stove over medium heat. Add the 1/2 cup olive oil, garlic and chile flakes. Cook for about 3 minutes to make sure the olive oil is infused with the garlic and red pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the lemon zest and cook for another 2-3 minutes until the oil becomes fragrant. Remove from heat.
- In a large pot, cook pasta to al dente (it shouldn’t take more than 3-4 minutes). Drain and place in a large bowl.
- To the pasta, add the chili infused oil, lemon juice, arugula, toasted bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese.
- Gently, using tongs, stir everything together.
What does a lemon mean to me?
It’s the start to a great refreshing salad.
It’s the perfect addition to a great biscotti.
It’s the star of one of my favorite cakes.
It’s the size of the baby growing inside me.
I once made The Perfect Party Cake.
What didn’t go into that story was that while making the butter cream, I made a boo boo. Instead of following the recipe, I accidentally and prematurely combined 1 cup sugar, 3 sticks of butter, and 1/4 cup of lemon juice. After mixing these ingredients, I read the recipe again and realized my blunder.
Despite my error, I was not willing to part with the butter/sugar/lemon mixture. I was determined to find something that I could make with those ingredients. And, due to the recent move, work and other cooking endeavors that came in between, my determination for my butter/sugar/lemon mixture was pushed to the back burner.
Until last week. Last week I discovered that not only could I use my forgotten mixture, but could also use up some cornmeal that I have had on hand. The bright lemon flavor combined with the nutty texture of cornmeal really makes this cake the wonder that it is.
The batter will be somewhat thick.
Oh and did I mention that it comes with a glaze that melts into the cake?
This would pair well with coffee (as Binks has told me) and (from my experience) blueberries!
My Saturday morning was that much sweeter and brighter with this delicious lemon cake.
Lemon Cornmeal Cake
Adapted from here
- 2 sticks butter, room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup lemon juice (usually juice from 2 large lemons)
- zest from 1 lemon
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- Butter and flour two 8 inch cake pans. (You can also use a bundt or tube pan).I was giving one half away so the two cake pans were perfect.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat the butter, sugar, lemon juice on medium speed until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs and beat in one at a time until each egg is fully incorporated into the wet mixture.
- Change the speed of the mixer to low.
- Add in the flour/cornmeal mix to the wet ingredients slowly. Do not over mix.
- Divide the batter into the cake pans.
- Bake for 60 minutes, until it passes the toothpick test (toothpick comes out clean).
- Allow cakes to rest for about 5 minutes before inverting onto a cooling rack – be careful because the cake will be moist and tender.
- 1 cup sugar
- 2/3 cup lemon juice
- Mix sugar and lemon juice together.
- Pour over cakes after cake has been resting for 5 minutes on a cooling rack. (Please be careful as the cake will be quite moist)
- Cool completely before serving.