Garlic Lemon Pepper Pasta

Garlic Lemon Pepper Pasta

This refreshing pasta dish has lots of garlic and lemon flavor. It’s also endlessly customizable, as you can make it vegetarian (or not!) and add any extra vegetables you have on hand.

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6

1 box of rotini (or any pasta)
4 medium cloves of garlic
1 broccoli crown
2 cans of tuna (5 oz.) (and/or 1 pound of sliced mushrooms)
Grated zest of 1 lemon (If you don’t have a grater or zester, see photos below.)
Juice of 1 lemon
½ pint heavy cream
1 cup parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper – add more if you like


  1. Fill a large saucepan or pot with water. Cover and bring to a boil. Add pasta, stir well, and boil uncovered for 10 minutes (or according to the package ingredients).
  2. Wash and cut broccoli into bite-size pieces.
  3. When the pasta has cooked for 7 minutes, add the broccoli into the pot to cook with the pasta for the last 3 minutes.
  4. Drain the pasta and broccoli, return to pot and set aside.
  5. Peel and mince the garlic.
  6. Use a grater to get the zest from one lemon (see Special Carrot Tips below if you do not have a zester).
  7. Cut the lemon in half. (You will squeeze the lemon for the juice in step 10.)
  8. In a large pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook for one minute.
  9. Stir in tuna (or mushrooms) and cook for 1 more minute. (If using mushrooms, add ¼ cup of water and cook for 3 minutes instead of 1 minute.)
  10. Add cream, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Stir and let simmer for one minute.
  11. Add the sauce to the pot with the cooked pasta and put on medium heat. Stir until the pasta is coated with the sauce, adding a little water if it seems too dry.
    Stir in grated parmesan and serve.

• If you don’t have a zester, you can use a vegetable peeler to peel off a thin layer of lemon rind. Then slice the rind into thin strips and mince into tiny pieces.
• Vegetables can be added to this dish. For example, you could use red pepper, green peas, or zucchini in addition to (or instead of) the broccoli.
• Add ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes for an extra kick.
• Canned chicken or salmon could be used instead of tuna.
• Garnish with fresh parsley.

Serve alongside green salad or garlic bread.