Native to China and widely planted in California, the Meyer lemon is a cross between a lemon and an orange, sweeter and more fragrant than the former and tarter than the latter. An example of the winter citrus that brightens up produce bins this time of year, the Meyer lemon can be substituted for its common cousin in peripatetic chef Sandro Fioriti’s signature pasta recipe, a simple, citrusy dish he’s showcasing at his current post as chef-partner at Il Valentino.
Sandro Fioriti’s Spaghettini Al Limone
2 ounces unsalted butter
1 Meyer lemon
Freshly ground white pepper
Pinch of salt
1 pint heavy cream
1 pound spaghettini or Spaghetti
4 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
(1) Juice and zest Meyer lemon. Heat butter in a sauté pan. Add Meyer-lemon juice (pulp and seeds strained), zest, white pepper, and salt. When butter is melted and the mixture starts to boil, (2) add cream, and the moment it returns to a boil remove pan from heat. Cook pasta al dente in salted water. Return sauce to burner, and bring to a boil. Drain spaghetti and toss with sauce in the pan.
(3) Remove from heat and stir in the grated cheese. Serves four.