Pasta and Vegetables with Warm Lemon Vinaigrette

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.


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.


We started with red bell pepper.


Then added some carrots.


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


Then we added yellow bell pepper.


Next we added the tomatoes.


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


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


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


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


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


Toss the vegetables with the cooked pasta.


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


Whisk the vinaigrette ingredients together.


Then pour the still-warm dressing over the pasta.


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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