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Easy weeknight dinners can be the key to survival this time of year. I always have a few easy meals in the lineup just in case life gets crazy and this Lemon Garlic Angel Hair Pasta is one of them. I’m talking start to finish and on the table in 20 minutes. I usually have these simple ingredients on hand so it’s quick, no fuss and delicious.
We have started to lean more toward a plant-based diet in my house. Baby steps. Don’t anyone panic. I will not be a card-carrying vegan or even a complete vegetarian. Truth is, I love a good piece of steak and a burger from time to time. Even better if it’s slow cooked on the grill. However, I’m much more picky about what I buy. I love Heinen’s selection of organic, grass-fed meats; especially the bison.
Over time I have come to the undeniable conclusion that a plant-based diet makes me feel better. Some say it’s a healthier lifestyle. I can’t make any scientific claims. What I know for sure is when I eliminate processed foods and eat the majority of my meals as plant-based as possible I look better and feel better, both mentally and physically. Who doesn’t want that?
So this meal is perfect for those of you who have Meatless Monday on your calendar. When I found out that my gang had a long day of hard work I knew they would come home hungry. So I added a little protein in the form of firm tofu sautéed in a little soy ginger marinade – you can get the recipe here or use your favorite Asian sauce. It was a delicious addition. This pasta also pairs well with grilled fish or shrimp.
The sauce on this pasta is a tasty blend of olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest and fresh garlic. Once you pour the sauce over the hot pasta you toss in a bit of flat leaf parsley. Top it with a bit of freshly grated Parmesan cheese and you are ready to go! I’ve left a few lemon halves on a hot grill pan to caramelize the natural sugars in the lemon. Squeeze this over top of your pasta for an extra zesty flavor.
Lemon Garlic Angel Hair Pasta
- 8 oz Capellini noodles (aka angel hair)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 Tbsp garlic, chopped fine
- 1 (heaping) Tbsp fresh lemon zest (about 1 lemon)
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
- plus 2 lemons, grilled, for serving
- 1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley leaves, finely chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- fresh Parmesan Cheese for topping (optional)
- Add sautéed firm tofu, if desired
- Add olive oil & fresh garlic to a small pan over medium heat. Allow garlic to cook for 60-90 seconds, until fragrant. Remove from heat. Gently stir in fresh lemon juice, lemon zest, and salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a pinch of salt and pasta, stir. Boil for 2-4 minutes or to desired tenderness, stirring occasionally. Drain pasta and return to the pot.
- Add the sauce to the cooked pasta, along with the Italian parsley. Toss to coat the noodles evenly.
- Top with a sprinkling of fresh Parmesan cheese, if desired, prior to serving.
- If adding tofu, simply drain the tofu for a few minutes. Slice into 1/4 inch slices. Sauté in a bit of olive oil in a non-stick pan on medium heat. When browned, turn and allow the other side to brown. Add about 1/4 cup soy ginger marinade or your favorite Asian sauce. Let cook just a minute to allow tofu to absorb the flavor. Toss tofu pieces with pasta.