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Lemon Pasta with Cauliflower and Peas

April 21, 2021
Lemon Pasta with Cauliflower and Peas

As someone who converted to Judaism, I consider Shavuot, the festival on which we read from the Book of Ruth, an especially meaningful holiday. Ruth, a Moabite woman, is considered the first convert to Judaism. Following the death of her husband, Ruth decides to remain with her mother-in-law, Naomi, instead of returning home to her Moabite family.

Featured in: Why Shavuot Is Jewish Mother-in-Law’s Day


  • 4tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • cup fresh lemon juice (juice from about 2 to 3 large lemons)
  • 1 ¼cups heavy cream
  • ¼teaspoon lemon extract
  • ¼teaspoon orange extract
  • ½teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1cup plus 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 ½tablespoons plus 1/2 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1head cauliflower, washed and cut into bite-size florets
  • 1pound uncooked pasta shells (conchiglie)
  • 1package (16 ounces) frozen peas
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
Yield: 6-8 servings


  • Step 1

    Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.

  • Step 2

    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.

  • Step 3

    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.

  • Step 4

    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).

  • Step 5

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

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

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