Not Diet Food

Creamy goodness.

No, this is definitely not that.

Not when there’s a ton of heavy cream in it.

Sometimes, though, you need to live big, go for the gusto and just enjoy without looking back.

“Fettuccine with Meyer Lemon Cream” is one of those times.

This creamy, rich pasta dish is from “Home Cooking with Jean-Georges” (Clarkson Potter) by the esteemed Chef-Restaurateur Jean-Georges Vongerichten.

It’s a simple, meatless dish of supple noodles coated in velvety cream infused with Meyer lemon zest and juice. Part of the cream mixture is reduced until quite thick, then tossed with the pasta before the rest of the cream mixture is added. Vongerichten says this technique creates a dish “that tastes ultrarich and light at the same time.” I chuckled a little when I read that, because truth be told, it’s still pretty decadent stuff.

But I pat myself on the back because I used fresh fettuccine that I made myself with whole wheat flour. I don’t know if the whole grain negates the heavy cream, necessarily. But it sounds good, doesn’t it?

Fettuccine with Meyer Lemon Cream

(Serves 4)

8 ounces fresh fettuccine or store-bought fresh fettuccine

Semolina flour, if using fresh dough

Kosher salt

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

Grated zest of 2 Meyer lemons

2 tablespoons fresh Meyer lemon juice

2-ounce block Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Coarsely ground black pepper

If using fresh pasta dough, roll dough through a pasta machine on each setting from widest to narrowest. Roll once more through the narrowest setting. Cut the dough into 12-inch long sheets with a sharp knife, then pass the sheets through the fettuccine cutter. Toss with semolina flour to prevent sticking. You can cover the pasta with a damp paper towel, then plastic wrap, and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it generously.

Meanwhile, whisk together the cream, lemon zest and a pinch of salt. Pour 1 cup of the mixture into a large, deep skillet. Boil it rapidly, stirring frequently, until reduced by about half, about 8 minutes.

Drain the pasta well and add to the lemon cream. Reduce heat to low and toss until well coated. add remaining cream mixture and lemon juice and continue tossing until well coated.

Divide among 4 shallow bowls. Grate cheese directly over the pasta, forming a little mound. Grind a generous dose of pepper over pasta. Serve immediately.

From “Home Cooking with Jean-Georges” by Jean-Georges Vongerichten with Genevieve Ko

Another Recipe From that Book: Butternut Squash with Balsamic and Chile Panko Crumbs

More Lemon Recipes: Rosemary Olive-Oil Cake with Lemon Glaze From the Girl & the Fig

And: Saveur’s Best Damn Meyer Lemon Cake

And: Emily Luchetti’s Lemon Squares

And: Lemon Walnut Biscotti

And: Preserved Lemons

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