9-oz. spaghetti (see Cook's note below)
juice of 3 to 4 lemons, the freshest possible
optional: the zest (the grated, colored part of the peel) of some of those lemons
2/3 cup, olive oil
1-1/2 cups, Parmesan cheese - freshly grated (Parmigiano-Reggiano if possible)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 handfuls fresh basil leaves - chopped
1) In a generous amount of boiling salted water, cook the spaghetti just until al dente, then drain it thoroughly and return it to the hot (empty) pan.
2) Meanwhile, beat the lemon juice with the olive oil, then stir in the Parmesan until the mixture is thick and creamy. The Parmesan will melt into the mixture. Season, and add more lemon juice to taste.
3) Add the sauce to the hot, drained spaghetti and toss gently or shake the pan so that each strand is coated with the cheese. Finally, stir in the chopped basil and, ideally, some grated lemon zest. Yield: 6 servings
Cooks Note: I used 16-oz. of spaghetti rather than the 9-oz. called for in the recipe. I used 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice and 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest in the sauce which was seasoned with 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. I measured 2 loosely packed cups of basil prior to cutting. Additional cheese and red pepper flakes were passed at the table.
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