250gdried pasta such as egg tagliolini, paglia e fieno or linguine
50ggrated Parmesan or pecorino cheese, plus extra to serve
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
#You couldn’t find a simpler pasta dish to prepare. It makes a very elegant starter when served in small portions, or a filling main course. Try to keep the butter melted for as long as possible so the lemon oil is fully infused.# Melt the butter slowly in a stainless steel or non-reactive pan and add the lemon zest. Leave over a very gentle heat or in a warm place to infuse for at least 2 hours (or for as long as you have), remelting if necessary.
When ready to eat, strain the melted butter (reheat if necessary), then add the chopped olives, lemon thyme, if using, and salt and pepper to taste. Keep it warm.
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, or according to the packet instructions. Drain, reserving 2-3 tablespoons of the cooking water. Toss the pasta with the lemon and olive butter, Parmesan, more pepper if you like, and some of the reserved cooking water if it looks too dry. Serve with extra Parmesan.
Add lots of cracked black pepper to the strained lemon butter. Omit the olives and add 75 g chopped rocket leaves and plenty of grated Parmesan.
Instead of the lemon zest, infuse bay leaves in the butter and add 250 g halved cherry tomatoes.