I have a love affair with this pasta. Once you try it, I know you will too. It is creamy yet bright and lemony with a slight bite of pepper. It is my all-time favorite comfort food. Lemons do taste like sunshine and who doesn’t need a little sunshine in their life from time to time?
It all started when I was in college and living in Phoenix. I worked at the Phoenician resort and that is where I first met the Sierpina family. I babysat for their three children while they were at the resort for a stay-cation. Before I knew it, I was their regular babysitter at their beautiful home in Cave Creek. There were summer days of swimming and grand adventures hiking into the wilderness. There was summer school work, vacation bible school, ballet, first communions, and even an incident of a broken slide. Turns out the four of us were too much weight for it at once. I’m guessing little Hannah wasn’t the problem. *Ahem* Moving on…It was also with the Sierpinas that I encountered my first scorpion (documented here: https://sarahsjoys.com/2011/10/19/on-becoming-a-grown-up-and-spiders/).
One evening, as Paul and Angel prepared to leave, I started making dinner for the kids. I was making pasta when Paul mentioned that one of the kids didn’t like marinara sauce. He proceeded to show me something they often threw together. I watched him casually toss some butter, mozzarella cheese, lemon pepper, and salt into the pasta, then squeeze fresh lemon juice over it before dishing it up for the kids. It was simple and delicious.
Ever since then, I have made this pasta (Which we call Sierpina Family Pasta in our house) as my go-to comfort food. For ten years I have made it the same way. However, I often lamented that as the cheese melted it would sometimes gloop together. I want cheese in every bite. I don’t know why it took me so long to get around to doing this, but I finally modified the recipe to make a sauce with the lemon juice and mozzarella. It ensures that every bite is covered in lemony, cheesy goodness. Having brought home bags full of lemons from my parent’s trees, I plan on indulging multiple times in the coming weeks. Here’s one right before I picked it:
This recipes is a favorite in our household and I hope it will be in yours as well!
Creamy Lemon Pasta
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp flour
- 1 cup milk
- zest of one lemon
- 1/3 cup lemon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella
- 1 bag no-yolk egg noodles
- lemon pepper
Cook the egg noodles according to the package directions, drain, and set aside.
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat, whisk in flour and allow to cook for about 2 minutes. Slowly add the milk, whisking it in as you go:When you’ve added all the milk and it is nice and thick and bubbly:whisk in the lemon juice, lemon zest, and season with salt and lemon pepper to taste:Remove the pan from heat and whisk in the cheese:It will be fantastically gooey and cheesy at this point:Stir in the egg noodles:If (and that is a big ‘if’) you can restrain yourself from eating all of it immediately out of the pan, plate it up. Garnish with fresh parsley and more lemon zest if desired. Let’s be honest, the only time I have ever taken the time to do that was when I needed to photograph it for this blog. Typically I am too busy eating delicious, creamy, lemony bite after bite and making happy eating noises to bother adding pretty garnishes to my bowl! But for you, I made the sacrifice of waiting a few minutes to eat it: I started this post months ago and somehow never finished it. Now I think I need to make this for dinner tonight! 🙂