I always feel a little funny posting a recipe for pasta. Not the more elaborate pasta dishes, those are fine. I’m talking about the meals that are so clearly the pantry pasta du jour. Meals like this Double Lemon Linguine. The beauty of a pantry pasta lies in its unshakable formula: Oil, aromatics, pasta, whatever you have in the fridge and/or cupboard, pasta water, and cheese. It’s really as simple as that. So when I present a recipe like this Double Lemon Linguine with Roasted Chickpeas, I am merely presenting you with one of a million possible forms your pantry pasta could take.
The Blueprint for Dinner Success
In times like these, I think it’s important to be transparent when it comes to the bones of a recipe. These bones – don’t worry, they’re metaphorical bones – should be apparent and available to you, so you can graph your unique set of provisions onto them. Do I think this Double Lemon Linguine with Roasted Chickpeas makes for a great flavor combination? Heck yeah, I do! And if you can replicate it in all it’s lemony glory, I urge you to do just that. But if you can’t, you can still use this recipe as a guide to making a totally righteous pantry pasta, that will no doubt delight your taste buds as much as my entry.
Double Lemon Linguine
But before we explore all the possible options and potential substitutions, let’s talk about what’s going on with this Double Lemon Linguine. Well, this Double Lemon Linguine gets its “double lemon” from two forms of, you guessed it, lemons – fresh and preserved. Their acidity and brininess are tempered by the mellow, creaminess of ricotta cheese, and the umami of shredded parm. The Calabrian chili paste provides a little heat, while the roasted chickpeas bring textural variation to the finished dish.
The Bones of a Good Pantry Pasta
So, that’s what this Double Lemon Linguine is all about. Now, let’s talk about the golden rules of pantry pasta everywhere. As with all good things, pantry pasta starts with aromatics (think onions or garlic) and a good amount of fat, usually, olive oil sautéed together in a pan. When I’m building flavor, I prefer not to rush this step. Really give your aromatics the chance to sweat out all their flavor. You’re setting the tone for the whole dish, so keep the heat low and maintain patience.
From here, it’s all about what you have in your fridge and/or pantry. Got some wine in the fridge or a bottle of sherry in the cupboard? Add a splash and deglaze the pan. Now it’s time to add more substantial items. A can of white beans, a bunch of asparagus, chicken breast, or zucchini. All of them are fair game and could easily be integrated into your pantry pasta at this point.
Your pasta should be al dente by the time you find yourself at this step, which is good because you need the water it was cooked in as much as you need the noodles themselves. Add the pasta and pasta water to your aromatics and mix-ins to generate a sauce. The residual starch in the pasta water will form a lush sauce that will cling to each individual noodle. And it never hurts to help this process along with a little cheese, preferably parm, and a nob of butter. This is how fettuccine alfredo is made – no cream involved.
To finish the pantry pasta of your dreams off, I suggest adding some fresh herbs, a hit of citrus, and naturally, some more cheese. And that’s it! It’s pretty easy to see how a pantry pasta comes together. Its a really simple way to use up the odds and ends and it’s an excellent opportunity to get little creative in the kitchen as well.
But if you’re in full swoon over this Double Lemon Linguine and you have the means to recreate it, have at it. It’s certainly a treat and I have a feeling, it will be making many more appearances on my dinner table.
Double Lemon Linguine with Roasted Chickpeas
Oven Roasted Chickpeas
- 2 tbsp olive oil divided
- 1 can chickpeas drained, rinsed, and patted dry
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Fresh ground pepper
Double Lemon Linguine
- 454g (1 lb) uncooked linguine
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 3 perserved lemons flesh removed, rind sliced
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 lemon juiced
- 1 cup full fat ricotta
- 1 tbsp Calabrian chili paste
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 tsp honey
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese shredded
- 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley finely chopped
For the Chickpeas
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Drizzle half of the olive oil onto a large baking sheet. Using a pastry brush, evenly distribute the oil. Set aside.
- Place the chickpeas, thyme, salt, and pepper in a medium-sized bowl. Pour in the remaining olive oil and toss to coat.
- Pour the dressed chickpeas onto the baking sheet and spread them into an even layer. Place them in the oven and roast for 20 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through.
For the Linguine
- Fill a large pot with water and place over high heat. Bring the water to a boil and salt generously. Add the linguine and cook according to the package's directions.
- While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large deep skillet until shimmering. Add the onion and a pinch of salt. Saute over medium-low heat until just translucent. Add the garlic and preserved lemon and saute until the garlic is fragrant. Pour in the white wine and the lemon juice and deglaze the pan.
- Once the pasta is al dente, drain the noodles, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water. Transfer the pasta to the skillet. Add the ricotta, chili paste, butter, and honey. Toss to coat. Add enough of the pasta water to make a loose but coatable sauce.
- Once the pasta is glossy, take the skillet off of the heat and stir in the parsley and parm. Stir until the cheese melts. Taste and season accordingly with salt.
- Divide the pasta across four bowls and garnish each with a generous handful of roasted chickpeas. Garnish with additional preserved lemon slices and parmesan cheese.