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Spaghetti Procida

Spaghetti al Pesto di Limone di Procida
A very popular dish from Procida where lemons play a big part in the cuisine of this island not far from Naples.  The lemons are very large, almost the size of grapefruit, sweeter than our lemons and have a thin outer skin but thick pith that is so spongy, it is called bread and gives these lemons the name limoni di pane di Procida.   Serves 4


1/4 to 1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted

1 clove garlic

4 ounces Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated

10 basil leaves, torn into bits

Extra virgin olive oil

3 very large lemons*

Salt to taste

1/2 pound spaghetti

Red pepper flakes, to taste

1/4 cup minced parsley


Reserve a few nuts for garnish and place remainder with the garlic in a food processor and pulse a few times.  Add half the cheese and basil and pulse mixture into a paste consistency.  Add the juice of two lemons through the feed tube and pulse once or twice to create a pesto consistency sauce.  Transfer to a sauté pan large enough to hold the cooked spaghetti.  Season with salt to taste.

Cook the spaghetti, reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking water and add it to the pesto sauce.  Transfer the spaghetti to the pan with the pesto and toss the pasta; add the remaining lemon juice, the pepper and parsley and toss again; add the remaining cheese and toss.

Serve hot decorated with a few pine nuts.

*Meyer lemons may also be used in this recipe.  They are much smaller, so figure on having about 1/2 cup of lemon juice.

This recipe is featured on show 2916 – A Bag of Lemons.


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