Spaghetti with Sage, Lemon and Hazelnuts
I love this simple pasta dish. Sometimes, dinner calls for nothing more than this loveliness. Other times, you could serve it alongside roasted chicken for a heartier meal. Add more crushed red pepper flakes, as you like, but keep in mind that if it’s too spicy it will overwhelm Pinot noir. Pairing suggestions: Menefee Vineyard Pinot Noir, Rosé d’Or Brut
- Kosher salt
- ¾ pound spaghetti
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 6 cloves garlic thinly sliced
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 10 chopped fresh sage leaves
- 10 fresh sage leaves chopped
- ¼ cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese plus more for serving
- ½ cup chopped Italian parsley
- ¾ cup toasted skinned, roughly chopped hazelnuts
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
- Freshly ground pepper
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions, until al dente.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook just until golden, about 1 minutes. Add the pepper flakes and the sage and cook for 1 minute more. Add ½ cup of the pasta water to the skillet to make a sauce. Simmer until it reduces by half, about 2 minutes.
- Reduce the heat under the skillet to low. When the pasta is cooked, use tongs to take it out of the pot, letting most of the water drip back in. Put the pasta directly into the skillet and toss thoroughly to coat with the sauce. Add the cheese and continue to toss until the cheese is melted, adding up to another ½ cup pasta water to get the sauce to the right consistency. Add the parsley, hazelnuts and lemon zest and toss again, until all is incorporated. Taste and season with salt and pepper. (Pecorino Romano can be quite salty, so bear that in mind when seasoning). Pass additional cheese at the table.
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