I should be home by now. Curled up on my couch, exhausted from a long day’s travel, but happy to see my husband after nearly a week away, and excited by the thought of my own bed. Apparently Winter Storm Whatever-Silly-Name-We’ve-Picked-This-Week had other plans. I got up in the wee small hours of the morning, still dark outside, bleary-eyed from yet another fun night in San Francisco. My friend Christina graciously offered to drive me to the airport before she headed off to work. Traffic was light; we made good time. We said our goodbyes, I strolled easily through security (with nary a glance at the 5 lbs of Rangpur limes crowding my suitcase) and made my way to the gate.
Whereupon I sat. I anticipated delays, knowing a big snow storm is bearing down upon the Northeast. But our boarding time came and went, and I saw the gate staff get that 1000-yard stare: the “don’t ask me because I can’t tell you anything” look. Then they started re-routing anyone with an overseas connection onto another flight. Then I got an email from US Air saying my connecting flight, from Philadelphia to White Plains, had been cancelled. Then they started calling for passengers connecting to other East Coast cities to switch flights: I gave up. I went to the gate desk and changed my flight to Friday. Cabbed back into the city, picked up Christina’s keys from her at work, cabbed back to her house, and unpacked my full-to-bursting bag all over again.
So here I am: enjoying the blue skies, bright sun and relative warmth of San Francisco while the wind howls and the flurries fly at home. And really, only one thing seemed appropriate to erase the annoyance of airport shenanigans and celebrate the windfall of two extra days in SF: zesty, bright, tangy, yellow-greeny, lemon-limey, citrus pasta. Celebrate citrus, my friends, before it’s gone. And keep the home fires burning for me, will you? I’ll make it back there one day.
- 2 cups (about 9 oz) all-purpose flour (or my favorite, whole wheat pastry flour)
- 1 tsp sea salt
- zest of 1 lemon, finely grated (I used Meyer lemon)
- zest of 1 small lime, finely grated
- 2 eggs
- about 6 tbsp water
Sautéed Spring Greens
- about 4 tbsp olive oil
- 4 scallions, thinly sliced, white & green parts separated
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 a green chile pepper, seeded & minced
- 4 baby celery stalks (or 2 regular stalks), with leaves, chopped
- 1 bunch beet greens, washed well, stems removed, chopped
- about 2 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus extra for garnish
- salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- fresh lemon & lime juice, for serving
- Prepare pasta dough. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt and citrus zest until uniform. Make a well in the flour in the bowl, break two eggs into the well, and beat eggs lightly with a fork until foamy. Work eggs into the dough, adding water as you go, until dough starts to come together in a ball and holds together easily when squeezed between two fingers. Turn out dough onto a floured work surface and knead, adding flour only as needed to prevent sticking, until dough is smooth and uniform, taking care to work the dough as little as possible. Allow dough to rest under a clean, damp kitchen towel for at least 15 minutes.
- Roll & shape linguine. Cut dough ball into quarters; work on 1 quarter at a time while the remaining dough rests under the damp towel. Roll dough quarter into a long, thin rectangle, flouring lightly as you go. Trim rough edges, dust pasta sheet lightly with flour, then fold into thirds, width-wise. Cut linguine noodles about 1/8-inch thick. Unfold pieces and rest on a floured board to dry for at least 15 minutes prior to cooking. See cutting & shaping pasta by hand for detailed pictures of cutting noodles.
- Cook pasta. Bring a large pot, 2/3rd full of salted water, to a boil over high heat. Add 1/4 of the cut pasta to boiling water; cover and return to a boil. Cook at a rolling boil until al dente, about 2 minutes. Drain and immediately toss with a bit of olive oil (to prevent sticking). Return to pan and cover to keep warm.
- Sauté greens. In a large skillet, heat olive oil until shimmering, but not smoking. Add scallion (white parts only), garlic, chile, and celery + leaves; toss in oil and sauté over medium-high heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add beet greens, toss in oil, and sauté until wilted, about 5 minutes. Stir in green scallion and fresh parsley. Season with salt & pepper. Add cooked pasta, toss and cook until warmed through, about 1 minute. Spritz with fresh lemon & lime juice to serve.
- I served this as a hearty lunch with beet greens, and the earthy, bitter greens worked well with the bright & tangy citrus and slightly sweet pasta. But I do think that this would be a knock-out appetizer served very simply with sautéed scallion & garlic, a good olive oil, and a finishing spritz of citrus juice & zest.
- If I were home, I would have made this with whole wheat pastry flour, but the zest would not have shown up quite so prettily as it did with AP flour.
- I originally thought of making this as orecchiette, until I found Christina’s rolling pin. Orecchiette, as a traditional flour + water only dough, would be a good choice for a vegan version.
Fresh pasta will keep, well-floured, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Air-dried pasta stored at cool, dry room temperature will keep for months.
Winter into early Spring.