Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Lemon Caper Pasta

This Alfredo sauce recipe is based upon bechamel sauce (actually mornay sauce once the cheese is added) as opposed to an Alfredo sauce of cream and parmigiano-reggiano. It is perked up lemon zest and capers.

A capers is a tangy Mediterranean flower bud packed in brine or salt. The salted ones are considered superior but are more expensive and I don't usually see them in grocery stores. The brined ones will work just fine here. If you do use the salt packed ones you'll want to rinse them before using.

Lemon Caper Pasta

3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons flour
2 or 3 cloves garlic, minced
2 1/2 cups milk
salt and pepper to taste
the zest of one lemon
3 tablespoons capers
1 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano
1 pound pasta cooked to manufacturers directions

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, whisking constantly until the flour and oil come together and begin to bubble. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds more.

Add the milk and cook, stirring more or less constantly, until it just begins to boil. Add the salt, pepper, lemon zest and capers. Reduce heat and simmer for anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour. It is said that the longer it simmers, the more refined it is. If it gets too thick, add milk or water. Too thin? Cook longer.

Meanwhile get your pasta water going over high heat. The water should be salted like you are seasoning soup. When your pasta is in the water. Take your bechamel sauce off heat and stir in the parmigiano-reggiano.

When your pasta is finished cooking, drain (don't rinse) and add the (now mornay) sauce to the pasta. Sprinkle with more parmigiano-reggiano and serve with lemon wedges and crusty bread.


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