Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Lemon Pepper Pasta

Tomorrow is Valentine's Day, and in typical fashion, I was running around today getting cards and candy for my children to take to school, cards and candy for my family, and then birthday cards and presents for my husband, whose birthday is the day after Valentine's.  Why do I wait until the day before?  Who knows!  Maybe it's a personality defect.  All I know is that every year I tell myself that I am going to be more prepared and buy things a couple of weeks in advance.  It's a great idea that, unfortunately, never comes to fruition.  It never fails that I am scrounging through the cards and candy that are left the day before, trying to find something acceptable.  It's completely ridiculous, but that's me, every year.  Today was the day that I felt Karma was kicking me in the backside for my procrastination.  It was snowing, yet warm enough to be very slushy so my shoes got all wet, making my feet freeze the rest of the day.

I thought briefly of making a soup, but I took too long getting home from work, and went with something much simpler,  Enter quick walleye fillets with a side dish of lemon pepper pasta.  Everything for both came together in just under 30 minutes.  Perfect! 

(And, as for my procrastination problem, I have vowed to make my next New Year's resolution one that tackles my tendency to start things last minute.  After all, why would I want to put this into effect immediately when I can wait several months?!)

Here's your Cast of Characters.

4 Tablespoons of unsalted butter
1 Lb. gobetti pasta, or other sturdy pasta like medium shells
Juice and zest from 2 lemons
1 1/2 Teaspoons peppercorns, coarsely crushed
1/2 Teaspoon, each, Lawry's season salt and McCormick Perfect Pinch Garlic & Herb seasoning blend
1 Cup reserved pasta water

Bring a pot of heavily salted water to a boil.  Add pasta, and cook to 2 minutes less than the minimum time.  Meanwhile, melt butter in a large sauce pan.  Add juice and zest to butter, stirring well to incorporate.

Turn heat to medium-low and simmer for a minute.  Add seasonings in, stirring well.

Once pasta is done, reserve one cup of pasta water before draining, and pour into the saucepan.  Drain pasta and add to the saucepan, mixing well.

Turn heat to medium-high, cooking for another 2-3 minutes until pasta is al dente and sauce has thickened.

See the flecks of pepper and bits of lemon zest?  Notice how light the sauce is, as it clings to the noodles?  Yum!