Thursday, June 10, 2010

Lemon Fusilli with Rocket

Here's an Ina Garten pasta dish that has become a favourite in our household. You'll notice we love rocket and we also love cherry tomatoes. Can I tell you how happy I am that my man does not mind vegetarian dishes, at all? Of course he looks for his meat and protein from time to time, but feeding him a bowl of pasta with veggies is so not a problem. Especially if it is loaded with - you guessed it, cheese!  
On weekends, I'd much rather spend quality time with him than with my kitchen. So this is when I usually whip up quick pasta dishes that will surely satisfy. It's also good timing because we can have it for lunch and have the whole day to burn off the carbs! This recipe is a bit on the heavy side, so that extra bonus is a big deal for me. 
Try it sometime. Even if Mr. Bee is not a big fan of pasta, this might meet his approval. If not, I'm sure your baby bees will love it.  

Here's my version, modified to make it a bit lighter and more garlicky:
-fusilli pasta
-olive oil
-minced garlic 
-light cooking cream 
-zest and juice of 1-2 lemons
-couple handfuls of arugula/rocket roughly chopped (Keep them slightly big so you taste the nutty/peppery flavor in every bite!)
-freshly grated parmesan cheese (super important)
-a pint of grape or cherry tomatoes 
Cook the garlic in the olive oil just until it softens and lets out its aroma. Add the cream, zest and juice of the lemons, salt and pepper to taste. Let it boil and then lower heat to simmer until the sauce thickens slightly.  Cook your pasta according to package directions and drain. Immediately after draining, while still hot, return to the pot and pour in the cream sauce. Stir and allow this to simmer for a few minutes until you can see that the sauce has been absorbed by the pasta. (In Ina's recipe she transfers the pasta to a serving bowl at this point and then puts in the veggies and cheese). I however, like to drop in the cherry tomatoes so they soften slightly with the heat. I turn off the heat and throw in the arugula/rocket and stir it with the pasta quickly. Then I transfer to the serving bowl and toss with the parmesan cheese. 
You'll end up with a bowl of warm, cheesy, nutty, zesty pasta that is so yummy and comforting. Perfect for a Saturday lunch. Quick enough so that you can get back to lounging around. 

This will make about 4 servings. You can make more and reheat it for meals throughout the week. Feel free to experiment as well with other veggies. I think these might work: spinach, basil, asparagus, cauliflower, mushrooms. If you need the protein, grilled chicken should make a good addition.


  1. Ok I get it now... I get the blog!!! Woooo hoooo!!! I love you guys... Mrs. P, Mrs. Bee... G.O.T...I.T! I can only wish to cook (and write) as well as you guys. And hopefully, soon, I can go back to cooking real meals and follow your recipes. My little Zzzzs are keeping me oh so busy! Love you both!

  2. I can feel the love Liz! Thanks thanks! Should we write about the crispy pata disaster years ago? I can still hear your husband's gasp.