Ina Garten's Lemon Pasta (Recipe Review)

Ina Garten

I love Ina Garten. I watch her show religiously and I have read through each and every one of her cookbooks. I'm especially fond of Barefoot Contessa at Home. I've tried several of the recipes featured in this cookbook and they've turned out fabulously. My family's favorite is lemon fusilli with arugula. I love the creaminess and velvety texture of the sauce. The lemon zest brightens the dish and the arugula and broccoli help to cut some of the richness. The pasta is served warm with a generous sprinkle of parmesan cheese.

Ina featured this recipe on her show once, and she warned viewers not to chicken out on the use of lemons, but what can I say, I did. I have to admit that the first time I tried it out, I only used 1 lemon. I was afraid the acidity of 3 lemons was going to be overpowering. 

When we tasted the results, everyone commented that the lemon flavor was lacking. Since then, I've followed Ina's recipe to the letter, and it's always been successful. I'm really impressed with how Ina meticulously tests her recipes. The quantity of each ingredient is measured to perfection. It really shows her personality: integrity, honesty and a lot of hard work. I'm sure I'm not the only home cook who has tried a recipe from a cookbook and had it fail so miserably that it makes you wonder if the author actually took the time to test it. That's never happened to me with one of Ina's recipes.

After getting comfortable with the number of lemons in the sauce, I felt ready to make some changes to the dish. I used bow tie pasta for this recipe and did not include the cherry tomatoes (there are none left in our garden!). If I'm making this dish for the meat lovers in the house, I add a grilled breast of chicken marinated in lemon.

If you're a pasta lover, I highly recommend this recipe. You can find the recipe for lemon fusilli with arugula on the Food Network website, or in Barefoot Contessa at Home: Everyday Recipes You'll Make Over and Over Again.

Thank you, Ina!


[-] great pasta - Guest-sangeetakhanna
hey Thanks for this recipe as i have broccoli, arugula n lemon all in my garden right now....and it seems to be pasta season for me with loads of veggies...

sangeeta Website Link
[ Posted at 1:05 AM on 12/27/09 | Reply ]
I'm delighted to see this, Jackie, as I've been trying to find a really strong lemon pasta recipe. Like you, I chicken out and I think that's been my problem. This looks lovely!

Jen of a2eatwrite Website Link
[ Posted at 4:56 PM on 12/27/09 | Reply ]
I love this lemon pasta, looks so refreshing.

Happy New Year Jackie!

Margot Website Link
[ Posted at 11:27 AM on 12/28/09 | Reply ]
It took a while for me to warm up to her, but I now feel about Ina Garten the same way you do. I just received "Barefoot Contessa at Home" for Christmas and this is one recipe I'll be making for sure!

sweetbird Website Link
[ Posted at 6:43 PM on 1/1/10 | Reply ]
Do you always serve this warm? Would it work room temperature or colder? I'm thinking of bringing this to a potluck but might need to warm it up at my place and bring it over.

Elyssa Website Link
[ Posted at 8:59 PM on 1/3/10 | Reply ]