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Spaghetti with Fried Lemons (Gluten-Free)

Celiac.com 01/28/2015 - Every so often a recipe comes along that I just have to try. This terrific recipe from Melissa Clarke at the New York Times infuses cheese and spaghetti with lemony goodness to deliver a welcome change of pace to classic dinnertime pasta.

Photo: CC--Jon OropezaIn making this gluten-free version, I stayed close to Clarke's recipe, though I did use Meyer lemons and make a few minor changes, such as substituting Pecorino Romano cheese for Parmigiano-Reggiano, and flat parsley for regular parsley.

It's a great way to put a romantic spin on a dinner favorite, or to add a some extra style to that basic pasta plate come dinner night.

Ingredients:

  • 4 Meyer lemons
  • 1 pound gluten-free linguine or spaghetti ( I use Schär brand)
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, more for drizzling
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, more as needed
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 3½ tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¾ teaspoon chile flakes, more to taste
  • 1 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, to taste
  • ½ cup celery leaves, coarsely chopped (optional)
  • ⅓ cup Italian parsley, coarsely chopped (optional)
  • Sea salt, and black pepper, as needed

Directions:
Boil a large pot of salted water.

Finely zest 2 of the lemons and set aside.

Cut the tops and bottoms off the other 2 lemons and slice them lengthwise into quarters. Remove any seeds, and slice the quarters crosswise into thin triangles.

Blanch the lemon triangles in the boiling water for 2 minutes, then remove them and place on a dish towel, and blot dry. 

Add pasta to the boiling water, and cook until just barely al dente. Remove the pasta and drain, keep back ½ cup of the pasta cooking water.

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Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over high heat.

Add the dried lemon pieces and season with a pinch each of salt and sugar. Cook about 3 to 5 minutes until the lemons become caramelized and browned at the edges. Transfer caramelized lemons to a plate.

Melt the butter with the remaining oil in the pan over medium heat. Add the chile flakes and zest of both lemons; cook until fragrant.

Whisk in the reserved pasta water.

Toss in pasta, juice of 1 lemon, cheese, pepper and the remaining salt.

Cook until pasta is well coated with sauce.

Toss in the caramelized lemon and the celery leaves and parsley, as desired.

Add lemon juice if needed.

To serve, top with a drizzle of olive oil, and a sprinkle of sea salt and black pepper,

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