Since we discovered whole wheat pasta, we're always looking for new ways to dress the stuff. I mean, tomatoes are a New World fruit, so the Italians didn't even have tomatoes until nearly 1500, so what were they eating with their noodles beforehand?
On this particular evening, I was recovering from the granddaddy of all colds so the idea of hot citrus to clear my sinuses appealed to me. We also tried a new type of pasta that is made not only from whole wheat flour but from flour from jerusalem artichokes, which you may know as sunchokes.
We'd picked up the pasta after a sailing trip from Annapolis. Our captain ran us in to harbor just ahead of the kind of storm that old men with white beards, pipes, and a wooden leg recount with "The sea was angry that day, my friends..."
We were off the water by the time the storm hit, but driving 40 miles in that rain was no pleasant thought, so we had pulled into a mall that housed a Whole Foods. While wasting time in the Whole Foods, we came across this particular pasta and decided it was worth a try. After we'd worn out our welcome we stood outside under an awning and watched sheets of water pelt the tarmac. "The parking lot was angry that day, my friend..."
Eventually, the angry parking lot got less angry, and we took our pasta home to sit in our cupboard until last night when I made this delicious lemony pasta with it. I used the same technique I'd used a few weeks ago with the goat cheese pasta, combining pasta water with cheese (in this case Parmesan) to make the bulk of the sauce. You'll like the lightness of the sauce and I'm sure it'll taste wonderful, even if you have to settle for plain old whole wheat or white flour pasta instead of our fancy half-jerusalem-artichoke noodles.
Lemon and pine nut pasta
zest and juice of two lemons
12 oz dried whole wheat or freaky jerusalem artichoke pasta
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
In a dry skillet, toast pine nuts until they become fragrant and golden. Remove and set aside to cool.
Start a big pot of salted water boiling. When it boils, add the pasta and cook until tender. Reserve two cups of pasta water, drain pasta.
In the bottom of the same pot you used for boiling, over medium heat, add the oil and garlic. Sautee for about 3 minutes. Add the pasta, lemon juice, lemon zest, Parmesan, and pine nuts and reduce the heat. Add about a cup of pasta water to thin the cheese out and create a sauce.
Serve in a a bowl with lemon parsley garnish.