Wine and Walnuts

A blog about eating, drinking, cooking and reading in the not so Deep South

Food and Wine Pairing: Lemon Spaghetti and Firesteed Oregon Pinot Noir, 2007

Lemon Spaghetti

Lemon Spaghetti

Yep, it’s time for another recipe from Giada de Laurentiis’ Everyday Italian. I so often use this cookbook, because the recipes are so good, and (usually) so easy.  I plan to buy/use other cookbooks someday, but for now, most all my cooking forays are from this cookbook,, Bon Appétit, and the late, lamented Gourmet.  I made Giada’s lemon spaghetti once before and it turned out very well, and I was craving it last weekend for some reason. So I did some online research for a wine that would match, bought my wine, made my spaghetti, and ended up with a thoroughly satisfying meal.  Good stuff!

I’ll tell you, this recipe is so fast and easy, and you’ll love the results. Plus, the ingredient list is rather short, and includes things I usually have on hand anyway, meaning it doesn’t require an involved and expensive trek to the grocery store. 

But first, as always, the wine.

Wine Notes

In my last post, I wrote about a neat little trick for finding wines to match your recipes using the recipe database.  This is how I chose the Firesteed Oregon Pinot Noir 2007 to go with my lemon spaghetti.

Firesteed Oregon Pinot Noir 2007

Firesteed Oregon Pinot Noir, 2007

Firesteed Oregon Pinot Noir, 2007

From the Firesteed website:  Vibrant cherry and sweet spice aromas jump out of the glass and the taste of the first round of summer raspberries and strawberries push the burst of fruit straight through to the surprisingly long finish. Grapes for this wine, as in previous years, were sourced from throughout the Willamette, Umpqua, Rogue and Walla Walla Valleys, creating a truly Oregon blend.

It was very tasty, well-priced, and easy to find, in addition to being a spot-on match for the lemon spaghetti.  Remember, Pinot Noirs can match with a really wide range of foods.  Around $15 retail in my market.


Recipe:  Giada de Laurentiis Lemon Spaghetti


· 2/3 cup olive oil
· 2/3  cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
· ½ cup fresh lemon juice (from about 2 lemons)
· ¾ teaspoon of salt, plus more to taste
· ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
· 1 pound dried spaghetti
· 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
· 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (from about 2 lemons)


· In a large bowl, whisk the oil, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, ¾ teaspoon of salt, and ½ teaspoon of pepper to blend.  Set the lemon sauce aside.  (The sauce can be made up to 8 hours ahead.  Cover and refrigerate.  Bring to room temperature before using.)

· Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add the spaghetti and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender but still firm to the bite, about 8 minutes.

· Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.

· Add the spaghetti to the lemon sauce, and toss with the basil and lemon zest.

· Toss the pasta with enough reserve cooking liquid, ¼ cup at a time, to moisten.

· Season the pasta with more salt and pepper to taste.

· Transfer to bowls and serve.


Only one, really:  where the recipe calls for ½ cup fresh lemon juice (from about 2 lemons), I tell ya, I squeezed those two lemons to within an inch of their very lives, and only got ¼ cup of lemon juice, and I did the old trick of rolling the lemons on the cutting board first to make them good and juicy, and still, only ¼ cup of lemon juice.  The pasta tasted divine nevertheless, but you might want to get 3 lemons instead of two, if you’re a stickler for having your measurements exact, so you’ll end up with 1/2 cup of lemon juice.

Bon Appétit!

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About The Author

Kimberly Houston


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