It might be Christmas Eve and flurrying as I write this, but that won’t keep me away from the distinctly summery flavors in this pasta – spinach, grape tomatoes lemon… lots of lemon. This time of year, everything red and green is made of sugar, so I guess the spinach and tomatoes in this dish puts a healthier spin on Christmas colors. Not that it was intentional on my part… but we can pretend that I planned it that way.
Now that I think about it, incorporating Christmas colors into a pasta salad is nothing short of genius because while the wintery flavors typically involve cranberry, mint, etc., this pasta “salad” would be quite distinctive at a potluck. (I wasn’t originally going to tack on the “salad” part of the title, but I figured that there was enough fruit and/or vegetables in it to make up for all the cookies I’ve been eating for the last week…)
Have a safe and joyful Christmas, everyone! Stay warm.
(Meanwhile don’t judge the mediocre quality of these shots)
Recipe: Creamy Lemon Pasta Salad
- 1 TB grapeseed or olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup milk
- 2 lemons, zested and juice reserved
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 pound dried pasta (I used fusilli)
- 6 ounces spinach
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
- 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
- In a medium saucepan, heat the oil and sautee garlic until sizzling and starting to brown. Add the cream, milk, lemon zest and juice, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for about 12 minutes, until it starts to thicken.
- Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the directions on the package, 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 2-3 minutes, until most of the sauce has been absorbed in the pasta.
- Take the pot off the heat and add the spinach, Parmesan, and tomatoes. Toss well until the spinach has wilted. Season to taste, and serve hot.
Number of servings (yield): 4-6
Adapted from Very Culinary