If you like pasta, but don’t want it with a tomato-based sauce such as marinara, or if you have a nightshade sensitivity, like I do, then this pasta recipe is just what you need. Nightshade plants include tomatoes, potatoes, and peppers (not black pepper). So, if you have a problem with tomatoes, finding pasta recipes can sometimes be a challenge. This recipe is fantastic because it’s not only healthy, but it vegetarian, nightshade free and delicious. I use whole grain pasta, but regular pasta is fine, too. I also grow my own basil and oregano, but dried or store-bought can be used. You can also omit them if you don’t like them.
1 pound package of whole grain spaghetti
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2/3 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated or from a package
1/2 cup lemon juice, about 2 large lemons, include a bit of pulp for extra flavor
1/2 teaspoon salt, or more depending on taste
1/2teaspoon ground black pepper
1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped-can omit
2 tablespoons of fresh oregano, chopped-can omit
Boil at least 8 cups of water in a large pot, add a pinch of salt and about a teaspoon of olive oil to prevent the pasta noodles from sticking together. While the water heats, place the olive oil in a bowl and add the lemon juice, salt, pepper, basil and oregano. If you use dried herbs, allow enough time for them to soak and soften in the oil and juice mix.
When water is boiling, add pasta. If you like it whole, gently place in the water until it is soft and covered by the water. If you like it broken, simply break in half and put in the water. Use tongs to mix the pasta so that it gets coated with the olive oil. Boil according to package directions, usually between 7-10 minutes, stirring with tongs several times during the cooking time.
Grate the parmesan cheese or measure it out from the package. Once the pasta is cooked, drain it, but keep about ½ cup of the starchy water. Toss the pasta into the sauce mixture until coated. Add enough of the reserved starch water to make it moist. Put the pasta in a serving dish and sprinkle the parmesan cheese on top. Serve while hot so the pasta does not dry out. You can add a little more lemon juice if you want it more lemony. I love the zing of lemon, so I add more and since I love basil, I increase the basil for flavor.
Add some garlic bread and enjoy!