Seasonal local food recipe No.386 – River Cafe’s spaghetti with basil and lemon Ⓥ


In hot weather I never feel like cooking. But we have to eat! This couldn’t be easier, and uses basil from Camel CSA’s weekly veg boxes. It’s another summer dish from the Observer Food Monthly‘s 20 Best Recipes and is taken from River Café 30 by Ruth Rogers, Rose Gray, Sian Wyn Owen and Joseph Trivelli.

Serves: 6 (as a starter or light lunch)
Preparation and cooking time: 10 minutes

250g spaghetti
juice of 3-4 unwaxed lemons
150ml olive oil
150g parmesan, freshly grated
2 handfuls fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
finely grated lemon zest, optional

Cook the spaghetti in a generous amount of boiling salted water, then drain thoroughly and return to the saucepan.

Meanwhile, whisk the lemon juice with the olive oil, then stir in the parmesan – it will melt into the mixture, making it thick and creamy. Season with sea salt and black pepper and add more lemon juice to taste.

Add the sauce to the spaghetti and shake the pan so that each strand of pasta is coated with the cheese. Finally, stir in the chopped basil and, ideally, some lemon zest.

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