This post was originally published here January 9, 2014. I’ve since adjusted the recipe slightly and updated the text and photographs to reflect those changes.
Meyer lemons are here!
Sweeter, juicier and more aromatic than regular lemons, Meyer lemons always seem to arrive right when I need them the most. Right when the cold, dark days of Winter really settle in. And my spirits take a bit of a nose dive.
Meyer lemons are like a little pick-me-up from Mother Nature!
I have a few must-make recipes for Meyer lemon season. And this Meyer Lemon and Pine Nut Fettuccine is one of them.
The preparation for this pasta dish may seem a bit odd (go ahead and take a peek at the instructions, I’ll wait). But it works. You start by creating a paste in your food processor with the pine nuts and shallots. Then you add in an entire Meyer lemon (peel, pith, flesh and juice!) plus the zest of a second Meyer lemon. This mixture then gets combined with heavy cream, Parmesan cheese, fresh herbs, salt, pepper and a little reserved cooking water to create what I would describe as a creamy, zippy sauce that’s a little bit toothsome.
It’s comfort food that doesn’t carry the weight of a lead blanket. Which is exactly what I’m in the mood for right now.
Not a fan of pine nuts? I’ve made this recipe with macadamia nuts with equally great results!
Are you as obsessed with Meyer lemons as I am? And do you have a favorite recipe you make with them? Let me know!
Meyer Lemon and Pine Nut Fettuccine
- 1/2 cup pine nuts
- 3 tablespoons peeled and minced shallot
- 2 Meyer lemons
- 10 ounces fettuccine
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
- 2 tsp. fresh thyme, minced
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- In a small dry skillet over medium heat, toast the pine nuts until they are just starting to become fragrant, about 2 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool.
- In the bowl of your food processor with the blade attachment, process the toasted pine nuts with the minced shallot until a thick paste is formed. Scrape this paste mixture into a small bowl. Add the zest from one of the lemons and stir.
- Wash and trim the ends from the second lemon. Cut the lemon into chunks, removing and discarding all the seeds. Add the lemon chunks to your food processor and process until finely chopped, but not puréed. Scrape this chopped lemon into the bowl with the paste mixture and stir to combine. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the fettucine according to the package instructions. Drain, reserving about 1 cup of the cooking water.
- Place the pot back on your stove over medium heat. Add the heavy cream and warm it until small bubbles start to form at the surface. Then add the Parmesan cheese, parsley, thyme, salt, pepper and the lemon paste mixture and about 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Whisk until everything is well combined and mostly smooth. Add back the fettucine and toss gently to coat the fettucine with the sauce, adding more cooking water to thin the sauce if necessary.
- Transfer the fettucine to serving bowls and enjoy immediately.
- Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in your refrigerator for 2 days.
Yum! I’m currently working my way through a bag of Meyer lemons, so this one’s going on the menu for this week 🙂
Yeah! Let me know how you like it, Jennifer!
I think I’m lining this one up for Valentine’s Day dinner Liz! I’ve been trying to watch my calorie intake in 2020 and exercise a lot more because this food blogging gig is kicking my #@$! And Tom, my husband is along for the healthy ride too, but by Valentine’s Day we’ll both deserve something special and this it! We’d both LOVE it!
I think this would be perfect for that! Love it! And I hear you on the eating – occupational hazard for sure!
very nice recipe, but can’t make or eat it until the weekend (diet restrictions) but basically fettuccine anything is a serious craving for me right now, meyer lemon in a nice touch too, so thank you!
I hope you enjoy it, Sabrina!
Saw this recipe on Instagram and searched Phoenix for the Meyer lemons which I had never used. Whole Foods hadn’t had any in stock for a week. Luckily I was in San Antonio this past weekend and Central Market was having their annual Citrus Fest and I stocked up. The Meyer lemons were as advertised. Tratto, my go to elegant Italian restaurant in Phoenix, frequently uses lemon in their pasta and other dishes and I am a big fan. I did top my servings with additional Parmesan and black pepper to make the meal perfect!
Tratto advertises itself as “a restaurant from James Beard Award-winning chef Chris Bianco. The Bianco team will prepare food and drinks in collaboration with our farmers, ranchers, millers and local artisans that will represent the intention of the desert Southwest.”
If you are ever in Phoenix, check out the Bianco restaurants.
So glad you tried it! And thanks for the Phoenix recommendation!
You had me at heavy cream! Pasta and heavy cream and meyer lemon? Drooling (!!). Seriously so craveworthy Liz! I’m completely intregued by the pine nut paste – so inventive and OMG… I know so delicious! My pasta craving just went through the roof!!
Yeah the pine nuts add some nice texture and allow you to use less heavy cream (at least compared to like traditional Alfredo sauce) without sacrificing flavor. I hope you try it!