You may think of this as a summer dish, but along the Gulf Coast, we still have rosemary growing and our Meyer lemons are getting ready for peak ripeness in another few weeks.
A trip to Italy took me to another region where rosemary and lemons were also the stars of the culinary and horticulture scene.
Here's a previous view I shared with you of rosemary
growing in huge clumps along Mobile Bay.
She's such a great gardener.
And now on to the part about Italy.
Hold on to your hats, this is a rosemary bush I found in Pompeii Italy, and although it looks stumpy, it towered over my head and was probably 8 - 10 feet tall. No telling how old it was. Protected from the elements in this ancient courtyard, the conditions must be perfect for year round growth.
Just around the corner from the giant rosemary bush were these tiered walls which held cascades of rosemary. This was during the winter months, so I can only imagine how lush it was during the warmer time of the year.
And then there were the lemons . . . this isn't a very good photo, but you can get an idea of the bazillions of lemons that grew all over Sorrento. This kind woman invited us in behind a tall metal fence to view her private garden. She and her husband owned the hotel where we stayed.
There must have been 40 more trees just like this in her yard. I kept trying to ask her what she was going to do with all these lemons (and just as many oranges too) but there was a slight language barrier and she would say, "I'll just eat them!"
So, knowing how I love lemon rosemary pasta, and knowing how I have fond memories of picking lemons and smelling rosemary in Italy, imagine how excited I was when I saw this tiny little bottle of Italian Lemon Juice at Piggly Wiggly! For less than a dollar, those wonderful Italian lemons were right here in Fairhope!
The Pig never stops surprising me.
I did a taste test, and I really could tell a difference in Italian lemon juice and domestic.
It was kind of like being a sour wine snob.
I make lemon pasta many different ways, but this time I went with a creamy version with loads of parmesan cheese and then added chicken.
Lots of rosemary - mostly mine, but supplemented again from Piggly Wiggly. The pig's garden is still going strong while mine is fading.
I used half regular pasta and half whole wheat. Still trying to convince the family to go totally whole wheat, but it will be a while.
And it was absolutely delicious. Southern Alabama, meet Southern Italy.
Here are two of my favorite versions of lemon rosemary pasta.
Try one and let me know what you think.
This non-creamyversion from "Love and Lemons" actually includes chopped collard greens.
This is the version I used from "Adventures in Cooking" I omitted the goat cheese and increased the garlic, rosemary and lemon juice for more of a,"whoa, mama!" effect.
So how about it? Do you love lemon pasta?
This story can be found along with other great ideas at these fine blogs: Coastal Charm, The DIY Dreamer, Elizabeth and Co., Ivy and Elephantsm, The Happy Housie, Savvy Southern Style, French Country Cottage, Shabby Art Boutique, Six Sisters Stuff, Ducks N A Row