Monday, December 28, 2009


Last week, after stuffing our bellies at delicious Bouchon in Northern California wine country, A and I took a little stroll up Washington Street in the heart of beautiful Yountville.

It was a brisk and beautiful evening, and as we neared the end of our walk, we meandered across the specatcular grounds of the Vintage Estate Mall when what to my wandering eyes did appear but:
A beautiful Meyer lemon tree!

This one was pregnant with fruit, so much so that a few lemons had even fallen to the ground and begun to spoil. Now, I'm not usually one for stealing taking things that aren't mine, but in this case - clearly no one else was making good use of the fruit, and it's not like we were on private property, (plus, no one was there to catch me in the act...)

All week I've been scouring the blog world to find just the perfect recipe for my contraband lemon. Tart? Lemon bars? Preserves? Finally, I settled on this:

(expert food stylist and professional photographer, alas, I am not...)

Meyer Lemon Pasta

1 8 oz. package Papardelle (I like Trader Joe’s egg papardelle)
1 large Meyer lemon
1.5 T olive oil
About 20 basil leaves
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
1 C ricotta cheese

1. Cook papardelle according to package instructions.
2. While pasta is cooking, zest the lemon. Reserve. Cut in half and juice the lemon. Reserve.
3. Chiffonade the basil leaves.
4. When pasta is al dente, drain. Return pasta to pot, and mix in lemon zest, juice, oil, basil, salt and pepper.
5. When pasta is thoroughly mixed, add ricotta, tossing gently.

Notes: Most of the recipes I (loosely) based this on suggested reserving anywhere from 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water, and stirring that in with the ricotta for a creamier sauce. Personally – I wasn’t looking to make a “cream” sauce. I like my ricotta lumpy. Up to you though, really.

Also, if you’re one of the lucky ones with a Kitchen Aid pasta maker, I bet homemade pasta would be fantastic in this. But, the TJ’s papardelle is a really close 2nd to homemade.

For dessert, A treated me to Mani's bakery.

And we topped it all off with a delicious bottle of this:

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