This Creamy Lemon Pappardelle with Roasted Broccoli is date night pasta. It’s “let’s eat in the dining room and light the candles” pasta. It’s the type of pasta you’d expect to find at a restaurant, but it’s easy enough to whip up for a weeknight meal.
The creamy sauce in this recipe is brightened up with the addition of freshly squeezed lemon juice and lemon zest. The pasta al limone recipe I adapted this from calls for 12 ounces of pasta rather than 8; I cut out 4 ounces of the pasta and subbed in roasted broccoli instead. This is my favorite method for bulking up a pasta dinner while sticking to the standard 2-ounces of pasta per person serving size. (See also: this recipe for pasta with garlicky broccoli and vegetarian Italian sausage.)
Pappardelle is a broad, flat pasta–think fettuccine, but super-sized. The pappardelle used in the photos is extra-broad, but this is a more typical size. However! If you have a box of pasta on hand that’s another shape, you can use that too. Spaghetti, shells, or rotini would work well.
Although this pasta looks pretty fancy, you should know that it’s also quite kid-friendly. You can thank the creamy sauce for that–it’s like a lemony mac and cheese! I won’t lie, my 3-year-old picked the broccoli out of her portion but gave the rest a big thumbs up.
Photos by Ana Stanciu
Creamy Lemon Pappardelle with Roasted Broccoli
A creamy pasta dish with a bright, lemony finish. Adapted from Pasta al Limone.
- 2 large crowns broccoli broken into florets
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice plus zest from 1 lemon
- 8 ounces pappardelle
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 ounces finely grated Parmesan about 3/4 cup
Preheat oven to 425ºF.
Toss the broccoli and olive oil on a sheet pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast the broccoli for about 20 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking time, or until tender and beginning to brown. Set aside.
While the broccoli is roasting, start the pasta. Cook the pappardelle in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente (the pasta will finish cooking in the sauce, so don't overcook it!). Drain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta cooking liquid.
When the pasta's halfway done cooking, start the sauce. Combine the cream and lemon zest in a large pot over medium heat, whisking often, for about 2 minutes, or until the mixture comes to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low. Whisk in the butter 1 tablespoon at a time until the sauce is creamy and emulsified.
Add 3/4 cup of the pasta cooking liquid to the cream sauce and return to medium heat. Add the pappardelle to the sauce; cook, tossing often and adding Parmesan little by little, until the cheese is melted and the sauce is creamy, about 3 minutes. (Add remaining pasta water one tablespoon at a time to thin it out, if needed.)
Stir in the lemon juice and roasted broccoli; season with salt and pepper, if needed. Divide onto plates and serve.