Linguine with lemon and sage

Serves 4

This is a very delicate pasta dish, so it is important that you pay attention to the amount of lemon you add. Restraint is best, as the flavour of the lemon can easily overpower all the other ingredients, leaving a sharp and bitter taste. It is also important to use a good-quality pasta so the final dish is elegant.

800g/1¾lb linguine
A good pinch of sea salt
4 tbsp crème fraîche
16 sage leaves
The juice of a lemon
The zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
70g/3oz good Parmigiano-Reggiano
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place a large pot of water on to boil and add a good pinch of salt. Once the water has boiled, add the linguine and cook according to the manufacturer's instructions. While the pasta is cooking, prepare the sauce.

Pour the crème fraîche into a small saucepan and place over a fairly low heat. Add the sage leaves and cook for a minute or two until the crème fraîche has warmed through. Now add the lemon juice and zest, the Parmesan and season with salt and black pepper.

Once the pasta is cooked, drain and spoon over the sauce, toss together well and serve on warm plates. Add a little extra Parmesan if you like, but in my mind, it doesn't really need it.

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