Italian Jews have always been very fond of lemons, and incorporate their juice and zest into many recipes: just like those with vinegar, these dishes are described as "all'agro" (sour style).
In the Middle Ages and Renaissance, they were apparently heavy lemonade drinkers - in most regions it was sweetened with honey or sugar, but in Rome it was seasoned with salt.
- 4-6 ServingsServings
- 1 pound tagliolini, fettuccine, linguine or spaghetti
- 1/2 to 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil OR melted butter
- 1/2 to 2/3 cup grated Parmigiano
- 2 large organic, untreated lemons
- grated zest of one of these lemons, avoiding the white part
- Salt to taste
- White pepper
- 2-3 tablespoon freshly chopped mint leaves
Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring every couple of minutes, until "al dente".
In the meantime, mix together the olive oil (or butter),lemon juice, lemon zest and cheese in a large bowl, previously warmed.
Drain the pasta, but save 3/4 cup of its cooking water. Toss the pasta with the sauce and the reserved cooking water. Add the water a little at a time, only as needed 1/4 cup at a time as needed. Add salt and pepper, and the chopped mint leaves or chives.