Meyer Lemon Crème Fraiche Linguine

by Valerie on November 5, 2008 · 4 comments

Welcome Back to What’s Cooking Wednesday. Be sure to check out its home at Tales of the Fairy Blogmother.
Also, since I had so much fun participating in Presto Pasta Night last week, I am submitting this recipe this week.

If you didn’t check it out last week, Presto Pasta Night is weekly roundup of pasta recipes — any pasta, any cuisine, any shape, any meal. How fun is that? Ruth at Once Upon a Feast created the event, and the hosts change weekly, though Ruth herself is hosting this week.

And, as promised yesterday, my WCW recipe – Meyer Lemon Crème Fraiche Linguine- this week is from Cooking for Mr. Latte.

I have been reading a lot about Meyer lemons in several books and also on blogs. Meyer lemons are a citrus fruit – a hybrid of lemons and mandarins (or a sweet orange type fruit). They were found in China by USDA employee and agricultural explorer Frank (you guessed it) Meyer. Today, Meyer lemons are cultivated in the U.S..

I finally stumbled on Meyer Lemons one day at Whole Foods this past summer. Those Meyer Lemons were from New Zealand. As soon as I saw them I knew I was going to make the Meyer Lemon
Crème Fraiche Linguine. I love lemon and arugula, and everything is better with some sort of cream.

I made the recipe that weekend and it was delicious. The key is to eat as soon as you assemble the deliciousness — that’s when all the flavors come together — the peppery arugula, the tangy but not acidic lemon, the richness of the cream.

Meyer Lemon Crème Fraiche Linguine, adapted from Cooking For Mr. Latte by Amanda Hesser

1 pound of linguine
a chunk of Parmesan (to be grated)
2 Meyer lemons
3 large handfuls of arugula, cleaned and roughly chopped
1/2 cup crème fraîche
freshly ground black pepper

Bring water to boil in a large pot. When the water is boiling rapidly, add salt (generously) and then the pasta. (CGL Note: I only salt at the end, I know I know, it’s blasphemy, but it works for me).

While the pasta cooks, grate a handful of parmesan into a large bowl and zest the two lemons into the bowl. Add the arugula to this bowl as well. Juice one of the lemons and reserve the juice.

When the pasta is cooked (make sure it’s still al dente), quickly drain it and add it to the serving bowl that’s holding the cheese and lemon zest. Don’t worry about getting the pasta completely dry. It should be slicked with water, as that will help thin out the cheese and the thick crème fraîche to a tossable consistency. (CGL Note: I just use tongs to get the pasta out of the water into the bowl).

Next, add the lemon juice and toss again. Last, add the crème fraîche and continue to toss well, until the sauce is well-distributed, the arugula is wilted, the the cheese is melty. Grind some pepper into all this and toss once more. Serve immediately.

One last note: the recipe calls for the juice of one lemon but I ended up using the juice of both lemons — if you don’t, and still have a zested, unjuiced lemon, I highly recommend squeezing it into some sparkling water. It’s delicious and refreshing without being too sour.


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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ruth Daniels November 6, 2008 at 12:41 am

Love the look and sound of the pasta. Now I have to hunt for Meyer lemons…here in Halifax, there’s really only one possibility..Pete’s Frootique. I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Night.

And maybe I’ll hunt for the book too.


2 Shan November 6, 2008 at 5:00 am

Mmm this sounds very yummy! Meyer lemons is one of those things I fear about when I’m watching Iron Chef: America.


3 City Girl November 7, 2008 at 2:24 pm

HI Ladies — I am going to update my post — I just found out a friend of mine made this with regular lemons and she said it was delicious — she used just one lemon and a touch of the cooking water.


4 Mary November 7, 2008 at 2:36 pm

What a beautiful dish. Thanks for the tip re: swapping regular for Meyer lemons.


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