While I love the light and bright dishes of summer, I am also a huge fan of a nice hearty meal. Something that makes you feel good and full. Enter: pasta. I know I’ve mentioned that I’m doing the Paleo thing, but living with an Italian husband means we have pasta now and again. Not enough for his liking, but still… This is one of Derek’s favorite dishes and with lemons and tomatoes, I think it still fits the “summer” bill.
1 tablespoon good olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic (2 cloves)
2 cups half and half (or heavy cream)
2 lemons, zested and juiced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 broccoli crowns, cut into small florets
1 pound dried pasta (fusilli or rotini recommended)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
6-8 ounces baby arugula, optional
Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the garlic, and cook for 60 seconds. Add the half and half, the lemon zest and juice, 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.
Meanwhile, 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. When the pasta has 2-3 minutes to go, add the broccoli to the boiling pasta and cook together for the remaining time until the pasta is al dente and the broccoli is bright green.
Drain the pasta and broccoli 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. Off the heat, stir in the Parmesan and tomatoes, and arugula, if using. Serve hot with extra Parmesan if you’re into that sort of thing.