The River Café’s Summer Pasta with Crème Fraîche, Rocket, and Lemon
This recipe requires no cooking, other than boiling the pasta. It takes five minutes and one bowl. It is a perfect recipe. Great ingredients are key, so make this only when you can source wild or baby rocket, juicy lemons, and excellent Parmesan. I usually make this with Cipriani dried egg tagliatelle or fettuccine. If you can’t find Cipriani, look for an artisanal egg pasta, dried or fresh, long and flat. Or do as the restaurant does and make your own. Crème fraîche offers the ideal rich, tangy match for the bright citrus, and the sharp notes of rocket gives it a good kick.
- 240g crème fraîche
- 100g freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
- zest of 2 organic lemons
- 60ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ½ tsp sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- 170g baby or wild rocket – the more peppery, the better
- 450g dried egg pasta or fresh tagliatelle
Start heating the pasta water, as this is a quick sauce to prepare. Scoop the crème fraîche into a large bowl and stir it with a fork to loosen it up a bit. Add the Parmesan, lemon zest and juice, and the salt. Season with pepper and stir well to combine. Adjust the seasoning. You should have a lemony, creamy well-seasoned sauce. Slice the rocket into slivers with a sharp knife or scissors. Stir into the sauce.
Cook the pasta in generously salted boiling water. Drain and toss with the sauce. It will be warm and silky. Serve immediately.
Extracted from The London Cookbook: Recipes from the Restaurants, Cafés and Hole-in-the-Wall Gems of a Modern City by Aleksandra Crapanzano (Sphere, approx €23).