Maddy Douglass

Knitter, lawyer, and safer beauty advocate in San Francisco. 

Loves coffee, crafting, and cheese plates.  


Fork it Over: Smitten Kitchen Lemon Cream Pasta

This is a pre-Paleo favorite recipe of mine. Hell, what am I saying, it's still a favorite recipe of mine! I just can't make it twice a week like I did for the weeks leading up to the paleo craze. In fact, it may or may not have been a contributing factor to the recent sluggishness that was a contributing factor to my decision to try to eat paleo most of the time. That's how good this dish is - it literally made me feel so crappy from all the rich amazingness night after night that I had to go on an uber healthy nutrition plan. I mean, in my book, that's the sign of a great meal. That's like a steak that's so good it'll give you heart palpitations after three bites. Like a scotch that burns your eyebrows off after one sip. I mean, it's not really good for you, and you probably shouldn't be eating it, but there's something just so damn enjoyable, so satisfying about the experience, that your "id" convinces you it's all worth it in grand scheme of things. Enjoy now! Pay later! Make this recipe! DSC_7284You can find the full recipe in the Smitten Kitchen cookbook. I tried to find a link to the recipe online for you but it is nowhere to be found - however, my roommate has the cookbook, and I can attest that it would be worth a purchase for the variety and scope of the dishes it contains. I made this recipe twice in these photos, once with broccolini and once with the snap peas the recipe calls for, but any green vegetable would look and taste great.

For this mouthwatering pasta, you'll need: half a pound of shell pasta, 1 cup fresh shucked sugar peas or other vegetable, 1 cup heavy whipping cream, 1 cup parmesan, 1 teaspoon or more lemon zest to taste. 


Start by cooking the pasta according to directions. If using snap peas, throw them in the pasta water for the last minute of cooking time and drain with the pasta. If using another veggie, cook as desired and then add to the pasta later.


While the pasta is sitting fully drained in the colander, use the same pan to heat up the cup of heavy cream. Cook it down for a few minutes, stirring so no skin forms on the top of the cream. After the cream has cooked down slightly, add the lemon zest, some salt and pepper, and the parmesan cheese. Stir in the parmesan until it melts completely - using shredded parmesan works best for this and should melt quickly.


Pour your pasta and veggies back into the pan and mix into the sauce until thoroughly coated. That's it! That's all you have to do!


Leslie suggested serving this over a bed of spinach leaves, which was a great addition and really evened out the richness of the sauce. As you can see below, for our inaugural cooking we went with the snap peas, which were delicious.


I'd say make this once the "right" way and then tweak it to your own tastes - for example, after making it with heavy cream the first time, I used half and half for every other edition and it tasted exactly the same. You can also use slightly more or slightly less parmesan if you want to make it healthier or more rich. I suggest using more parmesan. Always more parmesan.

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