Linguine with Canteloupe

Linguine al Melone

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Although pasta with melon may sound like an unlikely combination I think you’ll find the result surprisingly good. This is a recipe my parents and I discovered at a restaurant in Venice owned by a talented, creative and very young chef called Silvano. Serve to your friends and ask the to guess what the sauce is made of. Most people will be baffled.

Total Time from Start to Finish: 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cups canteloupe, rind and seeds removed and ¼-inch diced
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste, preferably the double concentrate available in tubes
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 1 pound linguine
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Method

  1. Fill a pot for the pasta with about 6 quarts of water, cover, and place over high heat.
  2. Put the butter in a 12-inch skillet and place over medium high heat. When the butter is hot and you see the butter foam begin to subside, add the melon and stir until it is well coated with the butter. Cook, stirring occasionally, until almost all the liquid the melon releases has evaporated. Season generously with salt and pepper and add the lemon juice and tomato paste. Stir until the tomato paste is thoroughly mixed into the sauce. Add the cream and cook until it has reduced by about a third. Remove from the heat.
  3. Add 2 tablespoons salt to the boiling pasta water, add the linguine, and stir until all the strands are submerged. Cook until al dente.
  4. When the pasta is done, drain well, toss with the sauce and the Parmigiano-Reggiano and serve at once.

Also good with:
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