Lemon fusilli with arugula

I am a huge Barefoot Contessa fan. In my wildest of dreams, I imagine being invited to Ina Lemon fusilli with arugulaGarten’s home in the Hamptons, where she and I will cook up a storm together and host a fabulous dinner party for all of her fancy Hampton friends.

So it’s no surprise that I own almost all of her cookbooks and have been cooking my way through all of them over the past couple of years. What I love about her cooking is that although it’s super simple, it’s really good.

With the summer season still in full force, I thought it might be a good time to share an easy and light pasta salad courtesy of Ina, which utilizes some of the best vegetables you’ll find at the farmers market. Please note: Her original recipe is very heavy on the lemon, so I’ve adjusted it so it’s not completely overpowering.


1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves of minced garlic (about 1 tablespoon)
2 cups heavy cream
2 lemons (plus an extra for garnish, optional)
Kosher salt and pepper
1 pound dried fusilli pasta
1 bunch broccoli
½ pound baby arugula
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half


  1. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic, and cook for about a minute.
  2. Add the cream, zest from 2 lemons, juice of 1 ½ lemons, 2 teaspoons of kosher salt, and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until it begins to thicken.
  3.  As the mixture simmers, cut the broccoli into florets (discarding the stems). 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. Set the broccoli aside.
  4.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add 1 tablespoon of salt and the pasta, and cook for about 12 minutes (or whatever is specified on the box). Drain the pasta in a colander and place it back into the pot.
  5. Immediately add the cream mixture and cook over medium-low heat for about 3 minutes, until most of the sauce has been absorbed.
  6. Pour the hot pasta into a large bowl, adding the arugula, parmesan, tomatoes, and cooked broccoli. Toss well, season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve hot.

A little something extra:
If you are a big fan of lemon, cut a lemon in half lengthwise, slice it ¼-inch thick crosswise, and add it to the pasta salad for garnish.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Aroon Melane says:

    yummmm i love arugula!


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