Pasta with Celery and Lemon
- SERVINGS: 4
From Rene Michelena, a 1998 Best New Chef, now at Centro in Boston.
- 4 large celery ribs, peeled and cut into matchsticks, plus 1/4 cup celery leaves, for garnish
- 3/4 pound thin linguine or spaghetti
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon minced shallot
- 1 cup chicken stock
- Large pinch of crushed red pepper
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
- 1/4 cup chopped chives
- 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- In a large pot of boiling salted water, blanch the celery for 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a colander and refresh under cold water. Bring the water back to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until just al dente.
- Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large skillet. Add the shallot and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the chicken stock, crushed red pepper and celery and cook until reduced by one-third, about 5 minutes.
- Drain the pasta, reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking water. Add the cooking water and Parmesan to the skillet and simmer for 2 minutes. Add the pasta, simmer for 1 minute and remove from the heat. Add the chives and lemon zest, season with salt and pepper and toss. Transfer the pasta to a large warmed bowl, sprinkle with the celery leaves and serve.
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