The entire meal comes together in very little time at all, making this my favorite kind of recipe. The lemon keeps this pasta fresh and light, while the pepper adds just a bit of unexpected heat. If you aren't a fan of much heat in your recipes, start with a tiny pinch of the pepper flakes and add more after tasting it.
As the main Brussels sprouts fan in our house, I loved every single bite of this dish. However, the rest of my crew enjoyed their pasta without my beloved Brussels sprouts. So, feel free to tweak the recipe however you like. Mushrooms and tomatoes would be great with this pasta, as well as asparagus tips, broccoli, or almost any other vegetable you love. This is an extremely versatile recipe and will work well with almost any vegetable.
If you're family is like mine and it just isn't a full meal without meat, this Creamy Lemon Pasta will pair well with Herb Roasted Chicken or Pan Fried Italian Chicken Thighs.
COOK'S NOTE: While the recipe is written as a one pot meal, I did use a separate skillet for my sauce and I cooked that while the pasta was boiling. By the time the pasta was done cooking, everything was ready to toss together. It's your choice, an extra pot to clean and a 15 minute meal or a little longer and just the single pot.
Creamy Lemon Pasta
Yield: 6 servings
10-12 ounces angel hair pasta, plus 1 cup reserved pasta cooking water
1 tablespoon butter
Optional: 1 pound Brussels sprouts, sliced thin, or the alternate vegetable of your choice
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 cup heavy cream
zest of 1 lemon, about 2 teaspoons
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
2 - 4 tablespoons lemon juice
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon kosher salt to the water and cook the pasta according to the package directions. Scoop out 1 cup of cooking water and set aside before draining the pasta.
In the same pot used to cook the pasta, melt the butter over medium heat. If desired, add the Brussels sprouts and cook them, stirring occasionally, until bright green, hot, and slightly tender, about 4 minutes. Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt while cooking. Remove the vegetables to a small bowl.
There should still be a coating of butter on the bottom of the pot. If there is not, add another tablespoon of butter and let it melt. Add the garlic and the red pepper flakes to the empty pot and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the cream, lemon zest, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until slightly thickened, about 6 minutes.
Add the pasta back to the pot, along with the cooked Brussels sprouts. Toss well to coat and add lemon juice, to taste. Season with additional salt, as needed. Gradually add the pasta water while tossing the pasta, until the sauce is as creamy as you like. Enjoy!
Are you craving more citrus inspired recipes? This is your lucky day! My friend Caroline is about to have a baby and some friends and I have joined together to throw her a virtual baby shower. Check out all of the delicious recipes and stop by to wish her the very best!
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