Gremolata can be kept on hand in the refrigerator for a few days- if you can possibly forget this condiment that elevates pasta, vegetables or any number of courses to gastronomic giddiness.
Chop a small handful of hazelnuts and gently warm in a small pan with a splash of olive oil. Working quickly- freshly grate the zest from 1/2 Meyer lemon. Toss in a handful of breadcrumbs you have saved in the freezer from one of those otherwise dreadly loaves they sell at 4 pm in the grocery stores. Despite coming from some of the worst bread sold in America- day old- they make fabulous crumbs. Roll fresh flat leafed parsley under a pizza wheel to finely chop.
Pull off the heat and freshly grind sea salt and pepper to taste. If you adore Asiago cheese- a fresh grating adds another layer to be appreciated without the taster knowing exactly why your pasta is so much better than what was sold in the school cafeteria growing up.
Now this is more food than 2 adults are going to eat at one setting. so play with the pasta sauce and other courses that so there is no perception of lack of variety.
The pasta is made in fresh batches for each meal. Boiled in generously salted water for just 3 minutes, the lightness of texture and smoothness on the tongue is unforgettable.
If you lift the pasta from the water to drain it, you can drizzle a few tablespoons of the pasta water to help the cheeses and sauce marry the spaghetti more fully.
The first night, the spaghetti pooled on the plate to hold the meatballs, on which gremolata was rolled over. The sauce was simplicity itself- just fresh tomatoes from the garden were rough chopped and barely heated with smashed garlic and grated salt and pepper.
The second night, the sauce was from an opened jar. However, depth of flavor was provided by a spoonful of Silafunghi Hot Chili Sauce from NapaStyle. Do go gently with the spoon fulls added. Too much to the uninitiated and you might need the fire extinguisher you do keep under your cabinet, don't you?
Which would be its own kine of memorable. But not simple nor sophisticated.
That would be a story for a different kind of blog.