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Basil-Lemon Pasta

   

I manage to delete my original version of this recipe, but when I searched the net for a cached copy I realized that LOTS of people had similar recipes. Anyway, below is a version that is pretty nearly exactly the same as the one I had written out. I sometimes like to add cooked diced chicken, which I found out during my search is ALSO a very popular variation. And before you read this over and think "this recipe sounds boring" I want to add the disclaimer that you MUST use fresh parmesan and lemon juice plus zest, and that this is best on a hot summer day when a more complicated or heavy dish (like stew) will just make you feel gross.

Also, do not underestimate the importance of sautéing the garlic in the oil. It brings out the flavour at the same time as taking away some of that raw garlic edginess.

Without further ado:

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium-size clove garlic, minced
1 (8-ounce) package medium-size bowties
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/2 bunch basil (about 12 large leaves)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated black pepper
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Bring large pot of salted water to a boil.
Add bowties and cook according to package instructions.

Stack 5 to 6 basil leaves at a time, roll them up tight and slice across the roll, spacing cuts 1/8-inch apart or less. Repeat with more leaves until quantity reaches firmly packed 1/2 cup. Heat oil in a large skillet over low heat for 1 minute. Add garlic and saute, stirring often, 1 minute. Remove from heat.

Add well-drained bowties and toss well until coated with garlic-oil mixture. Add lemon juice and zest, basil, salt, and pepper, and toss until basil wilts.

Divide pasta among 4 large heated plates, top each portion with 1 tablespoon grated cheese and serve.

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