Tagliarini with Citrus Zest
(Tagliarini del Magnifico)
Tratorria Garga named this dish for Lorenzo "Il Magnifico" de' Medici (1449–1492) and says it was inspired by yeast cakes with lemon and orange zest eaten locally during Carnevale, preceding Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent.
1 large lemon
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup half-and-half
2 tbsp. cognac
Leaves from 4 sprigs mint
10 oz. fresh tagliarini or linguine
1 cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Meanwhile, gently scrub lemon and orange under warm running water to remove any waxy residue; then pat dry with paper towels. Finely grate zest from lemon and orange and set aside.
2. Put cream, half-and-half, and lemon and orange zests into a large skillet and boil over medium heat, stirring often with a wooden spoon, until reduced by one-quarter, about 10 minutes. Add cognac and mint and cook until alcohol evaporates, about 2 minutes. Season sauce to taste with salt.
3. Add 2 generous pinches salt to boiling water, then add pasta and cook, stirring often, until just tender, 11/2–2 minutes. Using a pair of kitchen tongs, transfer pasta to skillet with sauce. Add parmigiano-reggiano to skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring pasta constantly, until sauce thickens, about 1 minute more.