This recipe, adapted from Eat Better, Feel Better, proves that pasta doesn't have to be complicated to be luscious. This dish is very simple but flavorful, so even a smaller portion makes a nice, light meal when paired with a big green salad. You could also add bits of cooked asparagus, broccoli, zucchini—even shrimp if you're not going for a meatless main. Recipe courtesy of EAT BETTER, FEEL BETTER by Giada De Laurentiis. Copyright © 2021. Published by Rodale Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House.
Bring water to a boil in a large pot over high heat. Season the water with 1 tablespoon salt. Add pasta and cook for 1 minute less than directed on the package, usually 6 to 7 minutes. Reserve 1 1/2 cups of the pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta well.
Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil and heat for another minute. Add garlic and rosemary and cook until the rosemary is fragrant and crispy, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the rosemary to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain. Continue to cook the garlic until golden brown, about 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, remove and discard the garlic.
Add the cooked pasta to the skillet and, before combining with the oil in the pan, sprinkle the bare pasta with cheese, lemon zest and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water and begin tossing to coat the pasta in the light cheese sauce. Continue to toss, adding more pasta water as needed, to create a creamy sauce. Season with pepper and serve topped with additional cheese, crispy rosemary needles and more pepper, if desired.