On a day when weather is heavy, hot and bright - and after months of book writing and recipe testing - the only thing called for in my kitchen is a little light relief (and a burst of sharp citrus). Lemon tagliatelli is recipe that is understated, painless to produce and refreshingly clean tasting. A good squeeze of lemon juice and a scattering of zest, in all their simplicity, do just enough to seep into and coat long strands of taglatelli, and impart a clear, fresh and fragrant flavour. The dish needs little else, other than plump, unwaxed lemons and a few salty morsels to balance, to produce the most simple and elegant of suppers.
Ready in 15
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
1 large garlic clove, crushed
2 anchovy fillets in oil, finely chopped
zest of 1 unwaxed lemon, juice of 3, plus extra zest to serve
parmesan, freshly grated, to serve
handful fresh basil leaves
Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Add the tagliatelli and boil for 8 minutes, or according to pack instructions, until al dente. Drain, reserving 2 tbsp of the pasta water, and refresh under cold water. Toss through a little olive oil to prevent the pasta sticking.
Meanwhile, heat the 2 tbsp of olive oil in a wide, deep frying pan over a medium-low heat. Add the garlic and anchovy and stir for 2 minutes until the anchovy begins to melt into the oil. Add the lemon zest and juice with the pasta water and season generously. Bring to a simmer.
Add the drained tagliatelli to the pan and toss through the lemon sauce until warmed through and completely coated in the sauce. Dish into bowls with a little more zest. Top with plenty of parmesan, a drizzle of best extra virgin olive oil and basil leaves to serve.