Pasta al Provolone | Italian Lemon Pasta Recipe
This cheesy lemon pasta works well with a real, Italian provolone; but please note that "provolone" in the United States and elsewhere refers to a mild cheese that more resembles Italian "provola." If you can't find a sharp provolone, try using an aged cheddar instead.
Watch the Pasta Grammar video where we made this recipe here:
For this recipe, you will need:
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- The juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 1 tsp lemon zest, plus a little extra for topping
- Black pepper
- 160g spaghetti
- Grated provolone (the real stuff!) or aged cheddar, to taste
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Salt it generously (two handfuls would not be out of order).
Meanwhile, combine the olive oil, lemon juice and zest in a large pan. Bring to a simmer and season with a pinch of black pepper. Stir all together and turn off the heat while the pasta cooks.
Add your spaghetti into the boiling water, and cook until it is very al dente. It should be undercooked by 2-3 minutes. Remove the pasta with tongs and transfer into the sauce pan, along with a ladle of the pasta water. Turn the heat on to medium/high.
The pasta will now finish cooking in the style of a risotto. As needed, continue adding small ladles of pasta water until the spaghetti is cooked to your desired tenderness. You want to keep just enough liquid in the pan to keep the pasta cooking, while not adding so much that the finished dish will end up a soup. Stir almost constantly.
When the pasta is nearly done, allow most of the excess moisture to boil off. Turn off the heat and stir in a generous grating of provolone cheese.
Serve immediately, topped with a little extra lemon zest. Buon appetito!