The Lemon Dilemma, part 1

Some very good friends have the luck that they have a house in Malta. We have the luck that they chose to celebrate New Years Eve with us, in Belgium, and they brought us a culinary gift that allways makes me a very happy man: some lemons from their garden, untreated, sun-soaked and of course unwaxed.


Three lemons are just enough to prepare two favourite dishes, and this was the first: penne with lemon skin and mozzarella.


1 lemon, bio and unwaxed (bio lemon might be waxed but the wax does not contain petroleum derivates, so it's ok, straight from a mediterranean garden you know is of course better)

250 gr mozzarella

500 gr penne

basil (a good handful)

olive oil

black pepper and salt

Wash and skin the lemon and divide the skin in small parts. Wash the basil and do the same. Mix the two ingredients in a bowl and add pepper and salt.

Cut the mozarella in 1 cm slices and roll them though the lemon-basil mixture (both sides).

Cook the penne.

Heat 4 spoons of olive oil in a pan. Put in the mozarella slices when the pan is heated, very short, just a sizzle to each side.

Mix the drained penne with two spoons of good olive oil.

Serve the penne with a few slices of mozza on top and sprinkle the rest of the mixture on top. Parmesan cheese is not necessary (I like it though, Mrs Rick doesn't).

We had a great Radici, Fiano di Avellino 2010 from Mastroberardino with it, a very good combination. Mastroberardino's vineyards are located close to Naples and i love to combine the south with the south. A Sicilian white would have been perfect too. Mastroberardino has some fantastic wines and its whites are gorgeous.


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