Tagliarini with Citrus Zest
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.
Yield: serves 4
- 1 large lemon
- 1 orange
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.