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Lemon Parm Pasta–Tomato & Kale

February 18 2013 - 11:35 AM

When it comes to hearty winter dishes, many people think time-consuming. Soups, stews, roasted vegetables and meats…these are all great warming meals, but they do tend to take a lot of time. Pasta is a cheap, easy dinner, yet it’s easy to get stuck in that simple, jarred tomato sauce rut. I personally never get sick of an ordinary pasta with marinara. It is nice to change up your flavors once in awhile, though.

Instead of opting for a heavy, rich cream sauce as your alternative, I like to go with a lemon and olive oil based sauce with just a bit of cheese. My new favorite pasta topper? Bread crumbs. They add that perfect crunch to your pasta and are an elegant way to finish off any dish. I love this combination of ingredients because it makes a light and colorful dish bursting with flavor. Tomatoes roast faster than any other vegetable, and once they pop they also burst with sweet flavor. The kale is incredibly easy to cook in your pasta water to cut down on time and dishes. Substitute any other green you like – spinach or swiss chard would work well, too.

The protein is optional. I went for defrosted shrimp, and I think crab, a white fish or chicken would all work well, too. The lemon juice ties together the whole dish, giving it a light flavor that makes it work year-round. Try out this recipe with casarecce, a uniquely twisted pasta variety you should be able to buy in specialty grocery stores. It will cling to bits of parmesan and bread crumbs in all the right ways.

Get the full lemon parmesan pasta recipe here >

–Marly Schuman