Updated: May 26, 2020
One thing I always have on hand in my kitchen are lemons. I LOVE lemons and the citric/acidic lemon flavor that they add to a dish. I use them in seafood, meat dishes and now I have made homemade pasta with this amazing citrus fruit!
I have also made a healthier, lower fat lemon “cream” sauce to compliment the pasta. However, if you do not want to make the sauce, you can toss this pasta with a little extra virgin olive oil, parmesan cheese and pepper, with homemade tomato sauce (or your favorite tomato sauce), or even with some pesto!.
I know what you are all thinking…pasta = healthy? Yes silly people! You can eat pasta and still be healthy!! It is all about portions. If you have an appropriate portion and maybe pair it with some salad, you are set! Your body needs carbs as fuel, don’t neglect what your body needs :)
Another thing you can do to bump up the “heathy” aspect of this meal, you can wilt spinach, baby kale or peppery arugula into the finished pasta on the stove. You can also add roasted broccoli…I love adding this vegetable to anything.
The Pasta Tossed in the Lemon "Cream" Sauce
Serving size info: Makes 12 oz of pasta, serves around 5 people depending on portions
Lemon Pepper Pasta Ingredients:
1 tsp lemon pepper
2 cups AP flour
1/2 tsp lemon zest (1 lemon)
1/4 cup lemon juice (1 lemon)
Lemon "Cream" Sauce Ingredients:
1/2 cup low-fat ricotta cheese
1/4 tsp lemon pepper
juice of 1/2 lemon (around 3 tbsp)
2-3 tbsp pasta water (use a coffee mug to get out the water)
Pasta Dough Directions:
1. Put all ingredients in a bowl and mix until fully combined and a dough starts to form. I use a kitchen aid mixer, stopping periodically to scrape the flour off the sides. However, this can also be done in a regular bowl with a spoon.
2. Dump the dough on a well-floured surface.
3. Kneed the dough by going from the exterior of the dough ball with the heel of your hand and pushing it towards the center. Then, fold over one side of the dough and turn it to your left. Continue this process until the dough bounces back slightly (your gluten network has formed!)...around 2 minutes.
4. Using plastic wrap, wrap your dough ball and place in the fridge to rest for at least 30 min.
5. Unwrap the dough after it has rested and cut into four 1-inch slivers. Flour your first piece and roll it out so it can go through the flattening pasta tool (for your kitchen aid mixer or standing pasta maker) on the “zero” setting…there isn’t actually a “0”, it is just the setting before the 1 number. You can also roll out each piece by hand using a roller…it just takes a tad bit longer.
6. After the dough goes through the machine once, fold it in half, flour it well (the dough is a little wet) and go through the zero setting one more time.
7. Then you will continue to go through each setting until you go have gone through setting 4.
8. Using a sharp chef’s knife and you’re newly flattened dough, cut the sheet in the lengths you would like. Usually this is cutting it in half. Also, cut the curved edges off so you have an even rectangle.
9. Now, you can cut the strips into whatever size you would like! I made a parpadelle (very fat pasta), but you can cut them into a linguini or fettuccini thickness too!
9. Have a sheet pan ready with flour on it. Add your pieces of dough to the sheet pan, adding more flour to the pan if needed (you do not want the pasta to stick together).
10. When ready to make dinner, bring a pot of salted water to a boil and dump in your newly made pasta in. How big you cut the strips will determine how long of a cook time for your pasta. The thicker the pasta, the longer the cook time. The range is 6-10 minutes.
While the pasta is cooking, start the sauce directions listed below. Before draining, using a coffee mug, reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta water. Drain the pasta and then mix the pasta into the large saucepan with the sauce.
1. Mix dump all of the ingredients, besides the pasta water, into a large sauce pan.
2. Heat the sauce on medium low to break down the ricotta into a sauce.
3. Add your lemon pasta to the sauce and add the 2-3 tbsp of the pasta water.
4. Continue to mix until the pasta is evenly coated with the sauce. Serve immediately!