I’ve always heard that using pasta water helps bind ingredients, but I’d never tried it until I made this. Huzzah! It is ingenious! Adding pasta water helped create the consistency of a light cream sauce, without all the richness. A great idea for non-tomato sauces. Christian and I both sung this pasta’s high praises as we sipped cheap champagne. The perfect weeknight.
Pasta with Lemon, Broccoli, and Parmesan
Adapted from Real Simple
12 ounces spaghetti (3/4 box) or fresh pasta
3 Tbl extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 lb baby broccoli, chopped (use the stems too)
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1 lemon, zest finely grated and juice squeezed
3/4 C grated parmesan
Cook the pasta according to directions. Reserve 3/4 cup of the cooking water, drain the pasta, and return it to the pot.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until golden, 1 to 2 minutes.
Add the broccoli, red pepper, and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the broccoli mixture, lemon juice, Parmesan, and reserved pasta water to the pasta.
Cook over medium heat, stirring, until combined and heated through, 2 to 3 minutes. Sprinkle with the lemon zest and serve.