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Pasta and Vegetables with Warm Lemon Vinaigrette

2011 January 17
by Mrs. FoodieLawyer

Since we still have a few Meyer lemons on our tree, we’ve been looking for good new recipes featuring lemon as a key ingredient.  We came across this pasta recipe and decided to try it.  We also like the fact that it is a vegetarian dish (and by “we,” I mean me.  Dan is less enthusiastic about my one-vegetarian-meal-per-week initiative.)  This recipe also meets our criteria of being easy for a weeknight.  Although we served the pasta with a sauteed chicken dish, it could easily be its own main dish.

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The ingredients include pasta, whatever chopped vegetables you like or have on hand (we used red and yellow peppers, cucumber, carrot and tomato) and for the dressing — lemon, olive oil, dijon, champagne or white wine vinegar, thyme, garlic and salt & pepper.  Finish with grated parmesan on top.

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We started with red bell pepper.

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Then added some carrots.

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Next we put in the cucumber (peeled but not seeded.)

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Then we added yellow bell pepper.

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Next we added the tomatoes.

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Finally, we put in some lemon slices.  We think these are intended more for presentation and flavor, rather than actually eating them.

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Cook the pasta according to the package ingredients, then drain.

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While the pasta cooks, make the dressing.  Zest the lemon first, before you cut it in half to juice it.

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Heat the olive oil in a pan, then add the garlic and lemon zest.

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Next add the thyme and cook over low heat for a few minutes.

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Toss the vegetables with the cooked pasta.

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Remove the olive oil mixture from the heat, then add the remaining vinaigrette ingredients (champagne vinegar, dijon, lemon juice and salt & pepper.)

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Whisk the vinaigrette ingredients together.

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Then pour the still-warm dressing over the pasta.

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You can serve this pasta as the main course, or it would go well as a side dish accompanying any light chicken or fish entree.

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