Lemon Fusilli with Arugula (by you know who)

lemon fusilli pasta

I practically don’t even have to credit my recipes anymore. Call me biased and closed-minded, but Ina just knows her stuff . And on a lazy Sunday morning as I was doing some grocery shopping, a simple Ina pasta recipe sounded like a good idea for dinner. Now before I go any further, there’s something I should tell you: this recipe calls for heavy cream.

Not only does it call for heavy cream, but two whole cups of the stuff! I’m not typically a big cream sauce gal. Sure, I can appreciate a good alfredo once in a while when I’m eating out (and the stomachache that follows), but when I cook at home, I tend to make lighter sauces. But that’s what is so surprising about this dish: it’s not overwhelmingly creamy.

Part of the wonderful-ness of this recipes is the substantial amount of lemon juice, zest and slices that go into it. The fragrant tartness of the lemon really cuts through the heavy cream, giving it a pleasantly creamy zip. I also love how colorful it is when plated. The grape tomatoes add such a lovely burst of color mixed with the earthly green of the arugula. I made this a few weeks ago when there were still grape tomatoes to be had in Chicago. As a winter adaptation, I’d probably use sun-dried tomatoes or even diced red peppers.

This is a great last-minute dinner idea that will feed a crowd. I highly recommend it and can’t wait to make it again! In fact, it’s so good that I just sent this to Vanielje at Vanielje Kitchen who is hosting Ruth‘s Presto Pasta Nights this week.

Lemon Fusilli with Arugula


1 Tbs. olive oil
1 Tbs. minced garlic (2 cloves)
2 C. heavy cream
3 lemons
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch broccoli
1 lb. dried fusilli pasta
1/2 lb. baby arugula
1/2 C. freshly grated Parmesan
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved


Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the garlic, and cook for 60 seconds. Add the cream, the zest from 2 lemons, the juice of 2 lemons, 2 tsp. of salt, and 1 tsp. of pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until it starts to thicken.

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.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add 1 Tbs. of salt and the pasta, and cook according to the directions on the package, about 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain the pasta 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. Pour the hot pasta into a large bowl, add the arugula, Parmesan, tomatoes, and cooked broccoli. Cut the last lemon in half lengthwise, slice it 1/4-inch thick crosswise, and add it to the pasta. Toss well, season to taste, and serve hot.

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  • http://marisblogs.wordpress.com maris

    This looks so good! I’m totally craving pasta right now and ogling at food blogs sure isn’t helping :)

  • http://onceuponafeast.blogspot.com Ruth

    Ina lives in my kitchen too! I love her stuff and this one goes to the top of the list. Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Night.

  • http://mimikatzchen.blogspot.com mimi

    wow, two cups of cream is very decadent! but this looks oh so tempting and yummy! thanks for visiting my blog, sorry i missed the deadline for the soup!

  • http://aloshaskitchen.blogspot.com Melissa

    I love everything about this, cream and all. Thanks for sharing this one, Maxine.

  • http://www.oneperfectbite.blogspot.com Mary

    This is a temptation I won’t be able to resist.

  • http://jinhooi.blogspot.com Jin Hooi

    looks delicious !! i have never had arugula before .. hmm.. should give it a try soon

  • http://dolce.swaymyway.com Eunice

    this looks AWESOME!!!

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