Lemon Fusilli with Spinach

Posted on August 18, 2009. Filed under: Pasta |

This is one of my favorite pasta dishes. The lemon adds a fresh flavor. And the fresh vegetables add different textures. And the cream and cheese, well, they just make anything taste better! This is a very light and refreshing pasta that is great for a summer night.
Make this when you have friends or family coming over, they will be so impressed with your culinary expertise.
Serve 4-6
1 tbsp tablespoon good olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic (2 cloves)
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cup chicken stock
3 lemons
1/2 cup basil, julienned
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pint mushrooms, sliced
2 bunches broccoli
1 pound dried fusilli pasta
1/2 pound baby spinach
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, add mushrooms. Cook for about 5 minutes. Then add the garlic, and cook for 60 seconds. Add the wine, chicken stock, cream and the zest from 2 lemons, the juice of 2 lemons, basil, 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 spinach, Parmesan 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.


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