faced with an overabundance (but is there ever really such a thing?) of lemons and fresh garlic from my friend's greenhouse, i put together this dish, which wound up being incredibly delicious. Adding whole smashed garlic cloves to the pasta water gives the noodles a surprising depth of flavor. Get your lemon zest from the largest lemon, and then use it for juice.
1 lb dried spaghettini or vermicelli
4 unpeeled garlic cloves, smashed
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
6-7 large garlic cloves, minced
juice of 3 lemons, seeds removed but stray pulp okay
1 tbs chicken demi-glace
1 cup fresh-grated parmesan
zest of one lemon
Fresh-ground black pepper
Lemon wedges, for serving
Cook pasta according to package instructions, adding smashed garlic cloves to the boiling water at the same time as the pasta. When draining, remove cloves and discard. Toss the pasta with the tablespoon olive oil and set aside.
In a large, deep skillet over medium heat, cook the minced garlic in the olive oil until garlic is aromatic and golden but does not brown, 2-3 minutes. Raise heat to medium-high and add the lemon juice, stirring, until warmed through. Add the demi-glace, stirring to melt and incorporate it into the lemon/garlic/oil mixture (the minced garlic will turn dark brown - don't worry, it's just the demi-glace).
Add the cooked pasta to the skillet and toss to mix with tongs or two forks. Toss continuously until most of the liquid is absorbed. Portion out to individual plates/bowls and top each with 1/4 the parmesan and the lemon zest. Grind on black pepper to taste. Garnish with lemon wedges for squeezing over the pasta.