Lemon Spaghetti with Scallops

Whitney received the wonderful gift of a Cook's Illustrated subscription from my sister and her husband for Christmas, and this recipe comes from the first issue we received. It was so delicious that I have been finding myself craving it long since the leftovers were finished, and can't wait to make it again.

Table salt
1 pound spaghetti
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
1 medium shallot, minced (about 3 tablespoons)
¼ cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest and ¼ cup juice from 3 lemons
1 ounce finely grated Parmesan cheese (about ½ cup), plus more for servings
Ground black pepper
2 tablespoons shredded fresh basil leaves

Bring 4 quarts water to boil in large Dutch oven over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon salt and pasta to boiling water; cook, stirring frequently, until al dente. Reserve 1¾ cups cooking water, drain pasta into colander, and set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in now-empty Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add shallot and ½ teaspoon salt; cook until shallot is softened, about 2 minutes. Whisk 1½ cups of reserved pasta cooking water and cream into pot; bring to simmer and cook for 2 minutes. Remove pot from heat, return pasta, and stir until coated. Stir in remaining 3 tablespoons oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, cheese, and ½ teaspoon pepper.

Cover and let pasta stand 2 minutes, tossing frequently and adjusting consistency with remaining ¼ cup reserved pasta water if necessary. Stir in basil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve, drizzling individual portions with oil and sprinkling with cheese.

The sautéed scallops were a perfect addition from Whitney!


  1. Next time you are home please cook this for us!

  2. Glad you were able to find something you liked, even if those of us who are allergic to shellfish can only take your word as to the tastiness! Cook's Illustrated really is the best cooking magazine we've found - there's always at least one dish that we want to try, and usually more! enjoy!