A cobblestone walkway brought me into the petite restaurant on a side street in Rome. The aroma of truffles and parmesan enveloped the room, and as our waited carried on in Italian, the world melted away like a warm piece of brie. The choices on the menu were endless, but with a full day of exploring ahead I wanted something delicious but light; I didn’t want to leave with a spaghetti baby in my tummy and what I call, a pasta hangover.
The winner was this surprisingly light pasta dish with just a few simple ingredients. Where had this pasta been all my life? Why hadn’t I thought of it? Has everyone known about this but me? Incase you too have not had this, allow me the pleasure of letting you in to the club. It’s nothing revolutionary really, but it is extraordinarily delicious.
Ingredients for Four
14 oz Papardelle
Zest and Juice of 2 Lemons
9fl oz crème fraîche
Shaved parmesan (about 6 oz)
3 Handfuls of Arugula
Salt & Pepper to taste
A pinch of dried Basil
A dash of Olive Oil
Boil a pan of salted water and add the pasta. Papardelle doesn’t take long to cook, so keep an eye on it. You will want it al dente, about 4 to 5 minutes.
While it’s boiling, zest and juice your lemons.
Place the crème fraîche in a bowl with half the Parmesan and season with salt and pepper. Stir though until the parmesan gets blended well and add the zest and juice of the lemons, saving a bit of juice for the end. Add just a touch of olive oil.
Take the arugula and break it up into a few smaller pieces.
When the pasta is ready, drain it and then add your crème fraîche on top. Sprinkle the arugula over the pasta and toss so all the pasta is covered in sauce. Add the rest of your parmesan and squeeze a bit more lemon juice on top. Add a sprinkle of basil and serve with a cold glass of white wine!
Enjoy al fresco and as you enjoy it, think that somewhere someone might be eating the same dish on a little cobblestone street in Rome….