Posts Tagged ‘lemon’

Lemon Penne with Arugula

I bought these new yellow ballet flats, which make me think of spring.  And in cooking, the yellow of lemon and freshness and lightness of their taste in a dish makes me yearn for warmer, sunnier days.  So even if spring hasn’t fully arrived here, I can pretend it has with my yellow shoes and my lemon penne with arugula.  This was a quick dinner that has a crisp taste and highlights the flavors of all the greens and tomatoes. 

I lightened the dish by using low-fat milk instead of the heavy cream.  I mixed in a little Wondra (quick dissolving flour) to the butter to thicken the milk since I wasn’t using cream.  You don’t get the same creaminess with the milk but it really reduces the amount of fat in the recipe.  I also substituted whole-wheat pasta for regular pasta.  Give this dish a try, especially if you’ve never had lemon with your pasta.  It’s great as a meal onto itself or as a side dish for fish or chicken.

Lemon Penne with Arugula

Adapted from Barefoot Contessa at Home


1 tablespoon of butter

1 tablespoon of minced garlic (2 cloves)

2 cups of heavy cream (I used milk)

3 lemons

1 bunch of broccoli

1 pound of dried penne or fusili pasta

½ pound baby arugula

½ cup freshly grated Parmesan

1 pint of grape or cherry tomatoes, halved


  1. Heat the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the garlic, and cook for 60 seconds. Add the cream or milk, the zest from 2 lemons, the juice of 2 lemons, 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain the pasta 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.
  4. 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.



Read Full Post »

lip puckering lemon cake

Tonight I am attending an auction and they have asked for contributions to the bake sale.  I love bake sales because they are a great excuse to do lots of baking and experimenting without having to eat the results for the next few months.  One of the items I made is a lemon pound cake, it’s delicious, and it’s infused with lemon in every way – lemon zest in the batter, a lemon-sugar syrup poured over top, and to top it all off, a drizzled lemon icing.  I guess this is what happens when I find a few stray lemons in the fridge.  

digging in while still warm

Here’s the recipe…..

Lemon Cake

Adapted from Smittenkitchen.com which adapted it from ”Barefoot Contessa Parties!” by Ina Garten

2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 1/2 cups sugar

4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature

1/3 cup grated lemon zest,6 to 8 large lemons (In my case, I used only 3 lemons)

3 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon kosher salt

3/4 cup plus 3 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
 (I used the juice of 3 lemons and some bottled lemon juice)

3/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
 (I didn’t have buttermilk so I mixed a little lemon juice with 3/4 cup of milk and let it sit for 5 mins)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted (I only used 1 cup of confect. sugar and drizzled the cakes with it)

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 8 1/2-by-4 1/4-by-2 1/2-inch loaf pans.*

2. Cream butter and 2 cups sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment for about 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Mixing at medium speed, add eggs, one at a time, and lemon zest.

3. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl. In another bowl, combine 1/4 cup lemon juice, buttermilk and vanilla. Add flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately to butter and sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour. Divide batter evenly between pans, smooth tops, and bake for 30 to 45 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.

4. Combine 1/2 cup sugar with 1/2 cup lemon juice in a small saucepan, and cook over low heat until sugar dissolves.

5. When cakes are done, let them cool 10 minutes. Invert them onto a rack set over a tray, and spoon lemon syrup over cakes. Let cakes cool completely.

6. For glaze, combine confectioners’ sugar and remaining 3 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice in a bowl, mixing with a whisk until smooth. Milk can be added a few drops at a time if the glaze is still too thick.  Pour over top of cakes, and allow glaze to drizzle down the sides.

Yield: 2 cakes.

*Or in my case, this recipe yielded one bundt cake and four mini loafs.  


Read Full Post »