Lemon Zest Garden Pasta

Summer time is here and what better way to celebrate it in the kitchen than with garden vegetables and the fresh zest of lemons. We were just up in Northern Michigan, and were planning a boat picnic. As such, we wanted to pack an easy to transport and eat meal. This was perfect! We paired it with grilled chicken. The lemon  has such a fresh flavor that compliments so well with the crispness of the vegetables and richness of the parmesan cheese. I had a friend up who is a DIVA Cook In-Training. She made this pasta when she got back home – easy, quick and especially tasty! The photos are courtesy of her creation! Great job Shannon!

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  • 1 Box of Pasta, such as rotini or campanelle
  • 1 White Onion, diced
  • 3 tbsp Minced Garlic
  • 1 Red Pepper, diced
  • 1 bunch of Asparagus, cut bite-size
  • 1 pint Cherry Tomatoes, half
  • Three handfuls of Arugula
  • Bag of Fresh Green Beans
  • 3 tbsp Cream Cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 Lemons, juice and zest
  • Paul Newmans Olive Oil & Vinegar Dressing, to taste
  • Salt & Pepper

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Sauté onions and garlic until onions begin to turn translucent.  Add the diced peppers, and trimmed asparagus. For ease and speed, you could sauté most of the cherry tomatoes as well (saving a few to toss in fresh later). I often slow oven roast them but both work! Just cut them, place on a baking sheet tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper, and roast for about 45 minutes at 250 degrees.

Melt in cream cheese, then throw in the arugula (or baby spinach) until it starts to wilt.

In the meantime, cook the pasta according to the instructions on the box. Mix the pasta in with the vegetables. Zest of two lemons, juice of one lemon. Add Parmesan cheese – as much as you would like! I use a ton 🙂  Add remaining fresh cherry tomatoes , diced small.

Boil green beans, cut bite-size, and toss in. For dressing, I used Paul Newmans olive oil and vinegar – you could use any similar kind of dressing though. Add more lemon juice as well to taste. Salt and pepper. Mix and enjoy!

Note this can be served hot or as a cold pasta salad. Make it a whole meal by adding grilled chicken or shrimp. Image

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