Friday, February 11, 2011

linguine with lemon cream sauce

I have been cooking up a storm this week, stocking the freezer with mini turkey meatloaves, enchiladas, chicken pot pies, chili and spinach lasagna. So, on the "off" days when not making meals for my family to enjoy while I am out West, I have tried to whip up super simple recipes. One day I made a farro tabbouleh...right now there's a lentil-sweet potato stew bubbling away on the stove... and last night I made a quick batch of Linguine in Lemon Cream Sauce. I'd originally seen the linguine recipe in the September 2010 issue of Vegetarian Times under the header "10 Outrageously Easy 5-Ingredient Dinners". Not just simple. Outrageously simple. Sounds perfect.

And the recipe was outrageously simple. But it was a little one dimensional, if you want my opinion. Here's the original recipe and how I modified it last night:

Linguine with Lemon Cream Sauce (from Vegetarian Times)
4 servings

8 oz. dry linguine
1/2 cup light cream cheese
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 lemon, zested and then juiced
1/2 cup chopped parsley

True to their word, the recipe couldn't be easier: Cook linguine according to package directions. In a saucepan, warm cream cheese, oil and lemon juice over low heat. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup cooking water. Stir reserved cooking water into cream cheese mixture. Add pasta, lemon zest, and parsley; toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

And if you like creamy lemony goodness then you can just stop right there. But I was thankful I had pine nuts on hand, to toss on top, for a little texture and alternate taste. Then about half way through my bowl, I decided I wanted more flavor than just lemon so I added my sides to the pasta and mixed it all together. I'd made: roasted zucchini (400 degrees on a cookie sheet, drizzled with a bit of olive oil and a sprinkling of kosher salt for about 12 minutes or until al dente and turning golden brown) and some chicken sausage I'd run through the shredder attachment on my Cuisinart b/c I wanted it "ground" instead of sliced for a few things coming up. And with those two additions, it was a pretty interesting meal.

I am posting the original recipe now because I said I would on the FB page, but I think I'll work on tweaking this recipe a little more when I get back to town. It's got potential...

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