Friday, 29 October 2010

Lemon Chilli Linguine


Cards on the table - we really did not enjoy this meal. Be warned that the overriding flavour is very much LEMON. I have no particular issue with lemon but just found it overpowering in this dish, which is also very dry. I guess there are always going to be recipes in every book which just do not float your boat. 

Strangely I notice the Quorn website feedback has been particularly positive for this recipe, maybe there are a lot of quorn loving citrus fanatics out there.

My poor husband didn't even have seconds and that says it all really. In fact he actually said this was the second worst thing I have ever cooked (in first place is an utterly monstrous vegetarian moussaka which could have been used as a weapon of mass destruction, but the less said about that the better). I did not think it deserved to be bracketed with the Moussaka of doom but I really did not like it as a dish.

To be fair, it started badly when I accidentally grated my thumb while zesting the lemon, dinner was slightly less vegetarian from that point on I am afraid. I also learnt the true pain of lemon juice in a fresh wound. The air in my kitchen went a rather electric blue.

So...the plus points for this dish (because I hate to just completely slate it) are that its pretty quick and easy to cook and in terms of weight watchers points its a very low scorer, 1.5 for the quorn, 3 for the pasta, 1 for the oil and that literally is it - a total of 5.5. 

I also think that the process of frying off the quorn pieces in the lemon juice is pretty clever and really does inject a strong flavour into them. As a starting point when cooking with pieces I will no doubt use this method again, but personally I think the dish needs another strong flavour to balance against the strength of the lemon.

This is the finished dish in my wok (which I pretty much cook everything in!):

The idea of lemon and chilli together I do quite like, but the chilli I used was not hot enough to even be detected against the lemon. Once the linguine is in the pan you really have to quickly move it round because due to the lack of sauce it will stick to the pan and burn if left alone. 

Personally I found it very odd to be eating such dry, sauceless, pasta. The idea of cooking the linguine with stock in the pan instead of water is clever, but again the stock flavour was lost to the lemon.

Some of the elements of this recipe have given me inspiration for other dishes and I am sure I will indeed use the citrus idea again but in moderation. I will not, however, be making this particular recipe again.

Sorry Quorn, but this one gets a 1/10 from us.


  1. Hmm, quite looking forward to trying this myself. Himself and I actually are big fans of citrus flavours with spaghetti so this may be a winner with us!
    As you said, the finished dish looks a little dry, maybe a drizzle of olive oil would have helped? Or maybe stirred through half a cup of the stock?

  2. Good thinking on using some oil or stock, it might make it much more palatable.