Lemon Pasta with Cauliflower and Peas

Lemon Pasta with Cauliflower and Peas
Recipe from Meatballs and Matzah Balls: Recipes and Reflections from a Jewish and Italian Life, by Marcia A. Friedman

A drizzle of good-quality olive oil, essential in both Italy and Israel, unites it all.

Note: You’ll need the juice and zest from 2 to 3 large lemons for this recipe.

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (juice from about 2 to 3 large lemons)
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon lemon extract
1/4 teaspoon orange extract
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup plus 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 tablespoons plus 1/2 tablespoon lemon zest
1 head cauliflower, washed and cut into bite-size florets
1 pound uncooked pasta shells (conchiglie)
1 package (16 ounces) frozen peas
Extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.

Melt the butter in a separate medium saucepan. Add the lemon juice, cream, lemon and orange extracts, and salt. Simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in 1 cup of the Parmesan cheese and 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon zest, and cover.

Meanwhile, add the cauliflower to the boiling water. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes until crisp tender and use a slotted spoon to transfer to a strainer. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to package directions. During the last 5 minutes of cooking, stir in the peas. Drain the pasta and peas.

Return pasta, peas, and cauliflower to the pot. Over low heat, gently stir in the lemon sauce until the pasta mixture is just coated (if you have extra sauce, save it to use with leftovers).

Serve in individual bowls. Drizzle each serving with olive oil and sprinkle with lemon zest, grated Parmesan cheese, and freshly ground black pepper.

Yield: Approximately 6 to 8 servings (about 17 cups total) (Dairy)

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