Warm days like today call for a cold pasta salad for dinner if you ask me.
Recently I tried Ina's Lemon Fusilli and Arugula recipe. As usual, she doesn't disappoint. In fact I liked this recipe so much that I made a double batch for Ozzie's 1st birthday party.
Her recipe actually calls for the salad to be served warm or room temperature but I think it's equally delicious cold.
Before making the salad, I read a lot of reviews to omit the lemon zest because the salad is lemony enough without it. I'm glad I followed that advice because the salad was very lemony and I am thinking the lemon zest would have been too much. So if you give this salad a try, leave out the lemon zest unless of course you love the taste of lemons.
Lemon Fusilli with Arugula from Barefoot Contessa
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic (2 cloves)
2 cups heavy cream
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch broccoli
1 pound dried fusilli pasta
1/2 pound baby arugula (or 2 bunches of common arugula, leaves cut in thirds)
1/2 cup 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 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.
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 tablespoon of salt and the pasta, and cook according to the directions on the package, about 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. 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.
If I make this again, I'd also omit the lemon slices. The pasta really does not need it.
If you are serving the cold left overs the next day try adding chicken slices, shrimp or smoked salmon. We added smoked salmon for Ozzie's birthday party and it was truly delicious. Yet another knock out Ina recipe for the recipe binder. Enjoy!