Thursday, July 28, 2011

Fettucine Limone Parmeggiano

Sophie and her chef fiance, Victor, are going on a pre-honeymoon trip to Verona, Italy where they plan to spend some time together before their wedding.  Instead of the romantic vacation she planned, Sophie finds herself traipsing all over Italy with Victor while he does culinary research for his new restaurant.  It soon becomes clear to Sophie that Victor's top priority is not Sophie, but his new restaurant.  Poor Victor doesn't even realize his ways.  He's so obsessed with food and everything regarding it that he doesn't even realize he's losing Sophie.

As soon as I observed Victor's behavior I completely identified with it.  How hard would it be to love food and not get consumed by it while in Italy?  I don't really fault him.  I would most likely behave in a similar way.  Maybe not to the extreme he did, but still.  Poor Sophie.  If only she were a noodle, or a great vintage wine, or perhaps a truffle then maybe then she would get some attention from Victor.

The movie inspired me to keep my priorities in check and not be so consumed with food.  I decided to make a quick dish, one that can be made in the time it takes to cook the pasta.  Don't you just love those types of meals?  I've always wanted to make Pasta Limone, a dish redolent with lemons, parmesan, and lots of fresh basil.  I picture this as the type of thing I would eat if I traveled to Italy.

Fettucine Limone Parmeggiano
Adapted from Gwyneth Paltrow's My Father's Daughter
Serves 4

3/4 pound fettucine
Coarse salt
1 lemon
1-1/2 cups finely grated fresh Parmesan, plus extra for serving
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2-1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3-5 tablespoons of pasta water, to thin
Handful fresh basil leaves

Boil the fettucine in salted boiling water, according to the package directions.  

Meanwhile, using a Microplane, grate the zest from the lemon into a large mixing bowl.  Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice into the bowl.  Add the 1-1/2 cups Parmesan, pepper, and a pinch of salt, and mix in the olive oil to form a wet paste.

When the fettucine is perfectly cooked, add 2 or 3 tablespoons of the cooking water to the lemon and cheese mixture.  Add the fettucine to the bowl and toss thouroughly, adding another tablespoon or 2 of pasta water if necessary so that the sauce coats each strand.  Roughly tear in the basil leaves.

Serve each portion with a sprinkle of coarse salt, a fresh grind of black pepper, and a few gratings of extra Parmesan.
Notes/Results:  This pasta dish was so fragrant.  The smell of lemon and basil just permeated the kitchen.  We could definitely taste the lemon, which we loved, and we found this dish to be refreshing and light.  At the same time, there was a certain creaminess to the pasta (from the cheese and the addition of pasta water) and it was very satisfying.  Another selling point was that I was finally able to showcase some of my opal (purple) basil.  Purple is one of my favorite colors and I searched high and low for purple basil this season.  I didn't notice a difference in the flavor of the basil, but the color sure does make me happy.  All in all, a great and quick pasta dish!

Food 'n Flix is being hosted right here at Stirring the Pot this month.  It's not too late to submit your recipe inspired by the movie Letters To Juliet.  For information regarding a submission, please click HERE.


  1. It looks very very yummy! I have always wanted to try this pasta dish, which I place in the same so-easy-but-so-tasty category as pasta caccio e pepe.

  2. Ooo I love that pretty purple basil!

    I would certainly behave the same way (she says as she hangs her head in shame) but there's very little I can do about it! I have an addiction, I guess. This pasta sounds delicious! Love how lemony fresh it is!

  3. Yup, I couldn't fault Victor at all...I just felt like I was both Victor and Sophie in one bundle ;) Delicious, simple dish...I definitely wish I was eating it in Italy right now...

  4. What a lovely, simple dish that shines with flavor Kim. Perfect for the summertime heat.

  5. With all that Parmesan cheese in there, what's there not to love? I can see falling in love with this kind of Italian food!

  6. I saw this recipe in the cookbook--it looks fabulous. (I want to throw in capers of course.) ;-)
    Thanks for picking a fun flick this month. It was good to watch it again.

  7. Great choice.....I am so in ove with pasta....bring on the larger pants! That was a good review :-)

  8. Ummm...guilty.
    But oh, how I would love this dish!

  9. This looks amazing!!! I need to see this movie!!

  10. I've never seen purple basil (or heard of it). Wow, too cool! Your pasta looks fresh and yummy and delicious. I can imagine how good it smelled too with the fresh lemon. This movie is on my Netflix list, can't wait to watch it!

  11. Fortunately, Sophie learned her lesson BEFORE she married him. (guess I'm on her side.)
    This looks like a delightful pasta dish...simple and beautiful with the basil. Paltrow certainly is getting into the food side of things.

  12. i really need to see this movie!

    what a gorgeous pasta, the lemon is probably my favorite part, it brightens up the entire dish, as does that purple basil, YUMMY! i would happily enjoy this with you!

  13. I just stumbled across your blog today, and realized that you are in Kentucky! I am part of a Kentucky food bloggers group, and we're always looking to connect with fellow Kentuckians. :-) If you'd like to connect with us (we're almost 40 strong), go to and request to join the group!


  14. When Alexis feels I am ignoring her and paying too much attention to food, she just puts on a bacon bikini. ;)

    Hey, are you going to the Food Blogger Forum 10/8 in Nashville?

  15. Hi Kim,

    You selected such a great recipe choice for the movie!!!! I've got to make this one for 'sho'!

    I just emailed you my post which you can also stop over and see now.

    When will the next movie be announced & who's hosting?

    Thanks for the fun!

  16. Oh god this looks good. Think I might have it for dinner with my corn. Thanks!

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