Monday, October 24, 2011

Lemony Pasta

Its like an easier version of mac and cheese.  And spring-ier.

My good friend Theresa. introduced the idea of "Fat Kid" as a lifestyle (versus being a number on a scale) when we were in college, doing our best not to be fat kids, in preparation for her upcoming wedding.  (At which we both looked great, by the way.)  Fat kid as a lifestyle means that you can be the skinniest person around (which, to be clear, I am not) but if you find joy in occasionally sitting around all day watching TV and eating food that may or may not be good for you, you are indulging in a fat-kid kind of day.  My friend Theresa, by the way was not able to be at my first baby shower because the day I was sitting around, 8 months pregnant and enjoying cupcakes and punch with friends was the day she she was completing the Ironman Triathalon.  You know, the kind where you bike a crap-load of miles, then swim a bunch more miles and round it all out with a marathon.  An actual 26.2 mile marathon.  My guess is she doesn't indulge in as many Fat Kid days as I do, but I am forever grateful to her for bringing the Fat Kid Lifestyle into my life while also showing me you can still be healthy.

When I'm having a Fat-Kid day, I could sit and eat this stuff ALL DAY LONG.  And I suppose if you use low-fat or fat free sour cream (and there are some decent ones out there these days), it really wouldn't be too bad for you.  So easy, so delicious, and its got a minimum of ingredients.  My friend Tara (another fellow Fat-Kid) showed me this recipe, and I've made it at least four times this summer.  My two year old LOVES it, and I could stand over a pot and eat it all day. 

Its essentially this exact recipe, but with extra lemon and asparagus thrown in.  You could use broccoli in a pinch, and I bet it would be delightful.  :)  Watch out for seeds while squeezing the lemon-- biting into a lemon seed you thought was garlic is a good way to ruin this dish.  Also, I've found, since you're going to bake the pasta, whole wheat or "super" pastas work well as they stand up pretty well to the oven.  While on the subject of pasta-- I really prefer this with spaghetti, but I'm a firm believer that most of the pasta shapes I have are pretty interchangeable, and really, what you're seeking here is creamy lemon goodness over carbs.  Who really cares what shape it comes in?

(And just to keep you coming back for more: since this is my summer 'mac and cheese' style dish, I'll post my "fall" mac and cheese recipe as my next posting.)

Lemony Pasta

1 pound pasta (whole wheat ROCKS for this recipe!)
1 lb asparagus, cut into bite-sized chunks
4 Tablespoons Salted Butter 
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil 
3 cloves Garlic, Minced 
2 whole Lemons, Juiced And Zested 
2 cups Sour Cream 
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt, Or More To Taste 
Plenty Of Grated Parmesan Cheese 
Flat-leaf Parsley, Chopped 
Extra Lemon Juice

Preparation Instructions 
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook pasta until 2 min before the box suggests it's "al-dente".  (EX: If the box days 9 min for al-dente, cook for 7 minutes).  In the last 30 seconds, add chunked asparagus to pasta water.  Drain pasta and asparagus and return to pot.

While the pasta is cooking, in a skillet, melt butter with olive oil over LOW HEAT. When butter is melted, add minced garlic. Squeeze the juice of 1 1/2 lemons into the pan (saving that last half a lemon for later). Turn off heat.

Add sour cream and stir mixture together. Add lemon zest and salt. Taste, then add more salt if necessary.

Pour mixture over drained pasta/asparagus and stir together, then pour this lemony goodness into an oven safe dish.

Bake, covered, for 15 minutes. Then remove foil and bake for an additional 7 to 10 minutes. (Don’t bake too long or the pasta will dry out.)

When you remove it from the oven, squeeze a little more lemon juice over the top. Top generously with Parmesan cheese, then chopped parsley (or whatever herb you happen to have-- I used cilantro, it was delicious).

No comments:

Post a Comment