Monday, June 4, 2012

Recipe: Roasted Cauliflower and Broccoli Pasta with a Lemon Butter Sauce

First things first: If you don't like lemons, you will not like this dish, so turn away now. Now, for those of you still with me, I'll tell you why you will like it: it's creamy, buttery, and oh-so-lemony. Rich, roasted vegetables and pasta come together in a bright, summery sauce that's perfect for you lemon-lovers. Toss in some chicken or shrimp for protein or add a side salad with a lemony vinaigrette to add a little oomph to this dish.

Serves: 4
Prep. time: 10-15 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Difficulty: Easy


  • 8 oz. pasta of your choice (farfalle, penne, or medium shells would be a good choice—I used farfalle)
  • 2-3 cups cauliflower florets
  • 2-3 cups broccoli florets
  • Approx. 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (just enough to lightly coat the broccoli and cauliflower)
  • Zest and juice from 1 lemon
  • Approx. 1/2 stick butter
  • 2 tbsp. chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder, or more to taste
  • 1 tsp. thyme, or more to taste
  • 1 tsp. white pepper, or more to taste
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 350*F. Spread the cauliflower and broccoli florets on an ungreased baking sheet, toss with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for at least 15 minutes. In the meantime, bring a medium pot of water to a boil, then add the pasta and cook according to package instructions (about 8-11 minutes). While the pasta is cooking and the veggies are roasting, heat the butter and garlic in a small pot over medium heat. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, chicken broth, and seasonings to the pot and bring the mixture to a boil. Slowly add the heavy cream, whisking it in. Add more heavy cream, butter, or seasonings as desired and reduce to a simmer. If you'd like to thicken the sauce, add a mixture of 1 tsp. cornstarch and 1/4 cup water to it. The sauce, as is, will taste very lemony, but once it's tossed with the pasta and veggies, it will get toned down. When the pasta is done, drain it and return it to the pot. Add the roasted veggies and toss with the lemon butter sauce. Serve with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino-Romano cheese as desired.

This dish is very light, with a clean, bright flavor that's perfect combined with the rich taste of the roasted broccoli and cauliflower. This is the sort of meal that you should enjoy while sitting out on the porch on a warm summer evening.

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