Pasta with Preserved Lemon Alfredo
Oh pasta, how comforting you are. Pasta with Preserved Lemon Alfredo combines three favorite cozy things: tender homemade egg pasta, tangy preserved lemons, and creamy Alfredo sauce.
Homemade Alfredo Sauce
Before I learned to cook, we used to be big fans of a restaurant chain that was famous for its Alfredo sauce. The sauce was served with warm breadsticks and a giant family-size salad that came with each order. I could drink that sauce, that’s how much I liked it.
So, once I started to cook on a regular basis, Alfredo sauce was one of the first things I wanted to learn. I found a recipe and made it. Wow, what a difference between the homemade and the restaurant version.
The original is Italian, of course, and is just butter, cheese, and pasta water melded together with hot pasta. Once the recipe jumped across the Atlantic, Americans added cream and garlic to the mix. Either way, it’s creamy, cozy, and so delicious.
This recipe shakes things up by adding preserved lemon.
I made several quart-size mason jars of preserved lemons earlier this year. Now, I’m down to my last half jar and I’m sad about it. They bring a salty, tangy, citrusy hit to anything and everything to which you add them.
They can easily be found at specialty grocers and, yes, on Amazon. If you don’t have the fridge space for a giant jar of salted lemons, consider buying a smaller jar of preserved lemon paste. It works just as well and buys back some real estate on your fridge door.
The preserved lemon cuts through the rich Alfredo sauce with some acidity. It adds a bright and sunshine-y note to the dish.
So does the chard.
Swiss chard, sometimes called chard or rainbow chard, is a leafy green that falls somewhere between spinach and collard greens on the taste scale. It is slightly tender, slightly bitter, and can be used fresh or cooked. Chard is great in salads, soups, egg dishes, and as a side.
Plus, it’s pretty!
The leaves are large, green, and glossy. But it’s the stalks that are the showoffs, displaying various colors including white, red, pink, yellow, and orange. It really makes it easy to eat the rainbow.
- If the thought of butter and cream together in a sauce terrifies you, this may not be the sauce for you. I have used half-and-half in place of cream, but it didn’t taste quite as good to me.
- Listen, you have nothing to prove to anyone. If you don’t have homemade pasta and don’t want to make it, use boxed. The sauce will be delicious on whatever pasta you make.
- It is easy to make a paste from preserved lemons. Place a preserved lemon in the blender and blitz until smooth. Add a little of the brine if needed.
Many thanks to Taste Cooking for their preserved lemon cream sauce recipe!Print
- 1 lb. homemade or boxed pasta
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 4 cups Swiss chard, thinly sliced
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 5 Tbsp preserved lemon paste
- ½ cup butter
- ⅓ cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
- ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- Fill a large pot with 4 quarts of water and 1 tablespoon of salt and place on the stove. Turn on the burner to high.
- While waiting for the water to boil, heat the oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the chard and cook for 2 minutes or until just wilted. Remove the chard from the pan and set it aside.
- Place the preserved lemon paste and cream in the same skillet and heat over medium, whisking continuously. Once it simmers, add the butter 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking after each addition. Remove the pan from the heat.
- Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook for the time required. If you are using fresh pasta, cook for about 3 minutes. For boxed pasta, follow the package directions.
- Return the cream sauce to the stove and heat over medium heat. Carefully dip a measuring cup into the pasta water and remove 1 cup of water. Add the pasta water to the cream sauce and whisk to fully combine.
- Now, using a pasta server or tongs, lift some of the pasta out of the pasta water and move it directly into the cream sauce. Repeat until all the pasta is transferred. Toss pasta in the sauce to coat.
- Add in the Swiss chard and crushed red pepper. Toss to combine and serve immediately.