1. Bring 6 quarts water to a boil in a large pot; season with salt.
2. Meanwhile, in a 10- to 12-inch skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat until almost smoking. Add onion and red pepper flakes; saute until translucent, 8 to 10 minutes. Add jalapenos; saute for 1 minute. Add zest and juice; bring to a boil, and boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in butter, and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
3. Drop pasta into boiling water and cook until tender, 1 to 2 minutes. Drain.
4. Toss hot pasta into pan with lemon mixture; return to medium heat. Stir together gently. Add pecorino; toss quickly. Transfer to a warmed serving platter. Serve immediately.
This recipe is adapted from Mario Batali's Molto Italiano. (Ecco, 2005).
Food historian Paul Freedman's book, Ten Restaurants That Changed America, tells the history of American restaurants (and America itself, for that matter) through those ten establishments. He tells Lynne Rossetto Kasper why Howard Johnson's is on the list, why McDonald's isn't, and how New York City's famed Delmonico's started it all.