Last night my friend Claire and I decided to have a culinary adventure. We picked out this recipe from her Thirty-Minute Pasta book–it’s spaghetti with a cantaloupe sauce. (Oddly enough, we decided this recipe was a good idea before we opened the merlot.) Apparently cantaloupe is not in season anymore, so we went to three different grocery stores before our quest was successful. But our hard work paid off in the end! We fixed a unique dish that pretty much tasted how you would expect Melon Spaghetti to taste. The pieces of cantaloupe cook down to tiny orange chunks, and make the sauce reeeally sweet. Also it was pink and weird-looking, too bad I didn’t take pictures. I didn’t think it was great, but Claire liked it a lot so I sent her home with the leftovers.

Here’s the recipe for you, in case someday you have a cantaloupe on hand and are feeling adventurous.

P.S. Did you answer the question from yesterday? If you did, you’re awesome. If you didn’t, go do it now! You know who you are.

Spaghetti al Melone

  • 1 3-lb. cantaloupe
  • 3 t. butter
  • Salt, freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lb. spaghetti or linguine
  • 2 t. tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 t. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 c. heavy cream
  • 1/2 c. freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil.

Cut melon into 1/2 inch pieces. Put the butter in a 12-inch skillet and place over medium-high heat. Once the butter has melted completely, add the melon and season generously with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the melon begins to break down and most of the liquid if releases has evaporated, about 10 minutes.

Add about 2 T. salt to the boiling pasta water, add the spaghetti, and stir until all the strands are submerged. Cook until al dente.

Add the tomato paste and lemon juice to the melon and stir well. Add the cream and cook until the sauce thickens and reduces by about a third, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

When the pasta is done, drain well, toss with the sauce and the Parmigiano-Reggiano, and serve at once.