Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Picnic Perfect Pasta

Picnic Perfect Pasta

The pasta dish has an unexpected light and creamy lemon flavor with bursts of sweet tomatoes and peppery arugula. In my opinion, it’s best served cold or around room temperature so it travels quite well.

Picnic Perfect Pasta
  • 1 tablespoon good olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (2 cloves)
  • 2 cups heavy cream (I subbed in skim milk and was still happy with the richness)
  • 3 lemons
  • 1 bunch broccoli
  • 1 pound fusilli pasta (I used spinach pasta)
  • 1/2 pound arugula
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • salt & pepper

1. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the garlic, and cook for 60 seconds.
2. Add the cream or milk, the zest from 2 lemons, the juice of 2 lemons, 2 teaspoons of salt, and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until it starts to thicken.
3. Meanwhile, cut the broccoli in florets and discard the stem. Cook the florets in a pot of boiling salted water for 3 to 5 minutes, until tender but still firm. Drain the broccoli and run under cold water to stop the cooking. Set aside.
4. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add 1 tablespoon of salt and the pasta, and cook according to the directions on the package, about 12 minutes, stirring occasionally.
5. Drain the pasta in a colander and place it back into the pot. Immediately add the cream mixture and cook it over medium-low heat for 3 minutes, until most of the sauce has been absorbed in the pasta.
6. Pour the hot pasta into a large bowl, add the arugula, Parmesan, tomatoes, and cooked broccoli.
7.Cut the last lemon in half lengthwise, slice it 1/4-inch thick crosswise, and add it to the pasta. 8. Toss well and season to taste. 

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