Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Lemony Pasta with Simple Salad

Some days you are crunched for time and may think that you do not have time to make a home-cooked meal.  That is where this recipe saves the day.  We have used this one (or a variation) many times, including last night.  It packs great flavor and freshness and can be completed in the time it takes dry pasta to cook.  Feel free to modify or adapt it to your own tastes or available ingredients.  Food should be fun, enjoy it!

Here's the low-down:

1lb pasta (your choice, short or long, does not matter)
1 medium lemon (zested and juiced)
2 Tbsp Olive Oil (our lemon olive oil is great)
2 Tbsp Parsley (chopped)
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese (grated, I like to use a microplane)
Optional Ingredients
2 Tbsp Scallions (chopped)
2 Tbsp Pine Nuts (toasted)

What to do..
Cook the pasta according to package instructions.  However, add two garlic cloves to the water as it is heating to a boil.  Be sure and add salt to the boiling water before adding the pasta. 

In a bowl big enough to hold the cooked pasta, add the lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, 1/2 the parsley, scallions (if using), salt and pepper.  Whisk it all together and wait for the pasta.  When the pasta is done, drain it and reserve 1/4 cup of the water.  Add the pasta to the bowl and toss to coat.  Season with more pepper, top with the parmesan, remaining parsley and pine nuts (if using them).  Plate it up and eat.  Enjoy!

You can also add a quick salad.  We added one last night and were lucky enough to use fresh salad greens from our garden.  We will also use a Spring Mix from the grocery store.

In a bowl, add salad greens, thinly sliced apple, halved grapes, chopped scallions and chopped parsley.  Drizzle on Persian Lime Olive Oil and Traditional Balsamic.  Toss to coat.  Top with more parsley, scallions, toasted nuts and grated parmesan cheese.  Drizzle on a little more olive oil and balsamic, and add some freshly cracked pepper. 

Both of these dishes can be prepared in about 15 minutes. 

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