A light meal for a hot day
It's hot here today.
Hair- stuck-to-the-back-of-your-neck hot.
It's 9 pm and it's still 85 freakin' degrees. I'm telling you, it's hot. Really, really hot.
Why no, our air conditioner isn't on. We like to see how long we can go before we truly succumb to the heat. Mike and I keep looking at the 10-day forecast and saying things like, "Well the high on Thursday is only supposed to be 82."
In truth I love having every window in the house open and I hate the buttoned up feeling running the air conditioner gives the house. I love hearing the noise of people talking on the street below my window as I lie in bed before going to sleep, and I love hearing the music from cars as people pull up and park. I love the feeling of breezes blowing and seeing the curtains moving with the breeze. I love summer and not having the air conditioner on makes me feel connected to summer.
Although at a certain point the heat overwhelms me and then I'm very, very grateful to have the air conditioner on. I don't think I'm there. Yet.
The one place in our house that stays really cool on days like today is our kitchen. Our house is old, and the kitchen, as was the custom when the house was built, is in the basement. This seems odd to lots of people, including me when we first bought the house. But I've grown to love the basement kitchen, and on summer days like this, it's the best place in the house to hang out.
This recipe involved cooking only the pasta water. In the original recipe which is from Italian Easy by Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers by way of The Best American Recipes 2005-2006 fresh tagliatelle is used which would make a truly spectacular dish. Creme fraiche is mixed with lemon juice and lemon zest to makes a delicious rich lemony sauce and then tossed with chopped arugula and Parmesan cheese.
I substituted angel hair pasta for the fresh pasta, and the only thing I would note in making this dish is that smaller, more tender arugula leaves work better than the large thick ones. I used both and could tell the difference. This was a lovely light and fresh tasting pasta, perfect for hot weather.
Pasta with Creme Fraiche and Arugula
5 ounces arugula leaves
5 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated
1 cup creme fraiche
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pound pasta
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.
2. Finely grate the lemon zest and squeeze the juice from both lemons. Coarsely chop the arugula.
3. Put the creme fraiche in a medium bowl, stir in the lemon juice and zest, and season with salt and pepper
4. Cook the pasta in boiling water until al dente, drain, and return to the pot. Pour the creme fraiche sauce over it and add the arugula and half the Parmesan. Toss to combine.
Serve immediately with the remaining Parmesan.