This is a book about cooking for friends... how to do it and how to enjoy doing it. There doesn't need to be a 'special' occasion to cook: if you keep things simple and if you can find a way to have friends over more often and make gatherings an easy part of your life, you will feel richer for it.
A Table For Friends is about the art of cooking for two or twenty, discover below the recipe which is described as eating a bowl of sunshine.
SPAGHETTI WITH CREAMY LEMON SAUCE
4 tbsp extra virgin
220ml single cream
1 egg yolk
A small bunch of thyme
Fine sea salt
You need little more with this, as it's pretty much a meal in itself.
Perhaps a nice green salad.
Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Meanwhile, finely zest both the lemons and toss the zest into a deep frying pan, then add the olive oil and set it over medium heat. Gently fry the zest for a few minutes until it begins to take on a deep, vibrant yellow colour.
Now pour in the cream and the egg yolk, mix well with a wooden spoon, then reduce the heat and leave to gently cook for 5-10 minutes, giving it a stir every now and then.
Add a generous pinch of salt to the boiling water, and, when it begins to gallop, add the spaghetti and cook until al dente according to the packet instructions. Finely slice one-third of a lemon.
When the pasta is cooked, drain in a colander, reserving a little of the cooking water (toughly ¼ cup). Squeeze the juice of the remaining lemons into the sauce, add salt and pepper to taste, then toss the pasta into the frying pan. Add the reserved cooking water, throw in the lemon slices and toss everything together so the pasta is well covered with sauce. Tear up the thyme sprigs, sprinkle generously over and serve immediately.
A note from the Author:
I don't often trust myself to cook pasta for more than four people, because the timings are too delicate. As they say in Naples: 'people wait for pasta, not the other way round'. Overcooked pasta is a cook's worst nightmare, while pasta eaten cold when it should be hot is not much better. But this recipe is so simple you can happily chat and bring it together at the same time. A fun trick is to prepare the sauce in advance and leave, covered on the hob, then, while the pasta is bubbling, slice the lemon, shuffle everyone to the table and assemble the dish once they are sitting down, so they eat it hot.