Hi friend o’ mine,
I had such high hopes for this New York Times recipe for Pasta with Fried Lemons and Chile Flakes, which I ultimately fed to my chickens.
I had the recipe bookmarked in the app, which is so handy to have on my phone. I love, love, love lemons, as evidenced by these recipes, like this one for pasta, this one for lemon bars and yet another for lemon bars.
But Pasta with Fried Lemons and Chile Flakes is a Must Not Make Again, at least in this Maine household. The lemon overpowered the otherwise bland pasta to the point that it was difficult to eat.
I considered whether I should even write about a pasta recipe, which I fed to my livestock. I wasn’t going to because I want to keep things positive here. But then I decided I should if only to save one person from trying to make it. And eat it. But who knows, maybe you will read this post and say ‘hey, that sounds like the recipe I’ve been waiting for, pasta smothered with lemons and a few chile flakes and parsley and nothing else.’
What I learned from this recipe is that I should always follow my gut when cooking. I know this but I didn’t listen to myself when I was scanning the recipe thinking ‘this really needs at least a clove of garlic’ and ‘gee, this seems like an awful lot of lemon for a savory dish’ and ‘why isn’t there even a tablespoon or two of cream?’ So, lesson learned. If I think a dish needs an extra ingredient, it’s going in.
I did want to love this dish. What’s not to love about lemon zest, chunks of lemon blanched and fried and lemon juice? But all three in one dish? Too much without something stronger than chopped parsley and celery leaves to balance it out. The 3/4 tsp of chile flakes helped but not nearly enough.
Here’s the recipe below, if you’d like to try it yourself. If you do, let me know what you think. Incidentally, this recipe was one of the Top 20 NYT Recipes for 2014 and has five stars on the paper’s website. Hmmph. Who’s not being honest with their rating? Or who’s rating a recipe without making it?
You know how I am about having leftovers so I can skip a cooking session. So I did not make the decision to feed the pasta to the chickens lightly. But, we couldn’t stomach more than a plateful and the birds really do love pasta so. They were happy to finish our leftovers.
Leave a comment and tell me about the last recipe you tried that you were disappointed with.