The deceiving simplicity of this Pasta al Limone dish is one of my favourite aspects of it. It's only five simple ingredients, but putting them together into an attractive "simple" sauce may be difficult.
The mise en place is easy: 1 pound of dried pasta, 4 oz butter, 1/2 cup grated parm, zest and juice of 3 lemons, separated good olive oil, salt and pepper.
When the pepper begins to smell floral and complex, you’re there. Add 1/2 cup tap water and turn off the heat.
Cook your pasta in heavily salted water. I favor long noodles here, mainly because this entire dish is an aromatic experience.
When the pasta is one minute away from being done, take out 3/4 cup water and pour 1/2 cup of it over the zest. This activates the zest, and also keeps it from clumping up in the pan.