Meyer Lemon Crème Fraîche Pasta with Broccoli Rabe ♥

Quick 'n' easy 'n' tasty
An easy, romantic side dish or entrée. Pasta tossed with lemon zest, lemon juice, crème fraîche, Parmesan and broccoli rabe. Vegetarian.

All my favorite California food bloggers rave about Meyer lemons, those little 'droplets of California sunshine' that appear in their back yards and roadside orchards this time of year.

Thanks to the miracle of our modern food distribution system -- aka the non-local bandwagon that sustains a 2000-mile diet -- some appeared right here in the middle of the country. Just like that, I snapped up a dozen. Lemon curd, yum. Lemon meringue pie? Oh yes. And now, here, a lemon pasta dish.

If you happen onto Meyer lemons, perfect. But honestly, this recipe is as much about the magical blend of toothsome pasta and slightly bitter broccoli rabe and creamy crème fraîche as lemon. Use any lemon, I think you'll fall in love. (Valentine's Day, anyone?)

HOW TO MAKE CRÈME FRAÎCHE AT HOME Don't waste $5 when all it takes to make crème fraîche at home is a cup of cream and two tablespoons of buttermilk -- and 24 hours, so do plan ahead. Here's my recipe for crème fraîche.

ST LOUISANS The Meyer lemons came from Global Foods in Kirkwood.

~ Lavender Steak, a real man pleaser ~
~ Cauliflower Risotto, all the richness but won't weigh you down ~
~ more Valentine's Day recipe ideas from Kitchen Parade ~

~ more broccoli rabe recipes ~
~ more vegetarian supper recipes ~

~ one year ago this week, Curried Red Lentil Soup, spiked with lemon! ~
~ two years ago today, Fennel Puree, a lower-carb mix of fennel and potatoes ~


Hands-on time: 25 minutes
Time to table: 25 minutes (for 2 servings)
Serves 1 - many

Per serving

Good pasta, linguine or egg noodles - I allow 2 ounces per serving but people are much more accustomed to the 'usual' 4 ounces
1/2 ounce of fresh Parmesan, grated
Zest & juice of 1/2 a lemon (Meyer lemons are great)
1/4 cup crème fraîche
Fresh ground pepper (I used lemon pepper)

1/2 tablespoon butter
Handful of fresh broccoli rabe, the 'broccoli' tips and some leaves, cut in strips

For garnish, a little extra Parmesan & lemon zest

Cook the pasta in well salted boiling water until done. Drain in a colander and return to the hot pan. While the pasta cooks, grate the cheese, zest and juice the lemon. Put aside for the moment.

While the pasta cooks, in a skillet, melt the butter on MEDIUM til shimmery. Add the broccoli rabe (the tips first since they take a little longer to cook) and cook for 2 - 3 minutes until just tender.

Once the pasta is drained and back in the hot pot, add the Parmesan, lemon zest and broccoli rabe, then the lemon juice. Stir in the crème fraîche and pepper. Serve immediately - it doesn't hold heat well.

PRINT JUST A RECIPE! Now you can print a recipe without wasting ink and paper on the header and sidebar. Here's how.

NEVER MISS A RECIPE! For 'home delivery' of new recipes from A Veggie Venture, sign up here. Once you do, new recipes will be delivered, automatically, straight to your e-mail In Box.

Eat more vegetables! A Veggie Venture is the home of Veggie Evangelist Alanna Kellogg and is the award-winning source of free vegetable recipes, quick, easy, and yes, delicious. Start with the Alphabet of Vegetables or dive into all the Weight Watchers vegetable recipes or all the low carb vegetable recipes. © Copyright 2008

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Sounds good to me - I love all those ingredients. I often throw in a squirt of lemon in my spring and summer pasta dishes, too - it really does bring them alive. We don't really see broccoli rabe much over here in the UK - what else would work, do you think? Kale? Purple sprouting broccoli?

  2. Forkful ~ The thing that's special about broccoli rabe is that it's got a slight bite - so I'd head somewhere like arugula or bok choy leaves, something that can contrast with the creaminess of the crème fraîche and the brightness of the lemon. That said, who can go wrong turning to anything slipped into such rich ingredients?!

  3. Yum. I love lemon and broccoli in pasta.

    I just made Meyer lemon/vanilla marmalade this weekend!

  4. I confess that I haven't been able to resist buying Meyer lemons at Trader Joe's. My husband has been making oodles of lemon curd, but somehow it's disappearing as fast as he makes it! I love the idea of tempering the richness of creme fraiche with the tartness of the lemons.

  5. One of our go-to pasta dishes is pasta with lemon, arugula, and creme fraiche. So, your dish is calling my name! Thanks for the homemade creme fraiche recipe too. You just saved me $5 bucks this week. :)

  6. We often have chilis/sausage/rapini pasta (it's a favourite) but I love the idea of creme fraiche, parmesan cheese and lemon with rapini (aka broccoli rabe)!

    Not sure that I've seen Meyer lemons here - they must be available (everything else seems to be - I saw someone buying several durians the other day). But I'm guessing regular lemon would work in this pasta dish too.

    When we want creme fraiche on the same day and haven't remembered to do the buttermilk thing the day before, we've made a reasonable facsimile of it by mixing plain yoghurt and cream cheese until they are the right consistency.

    -Elizabeth, on a similar non-local bandwagon sustaining a +2000-mile diet

  7. There's such a great balance of flavors here! I especially like the slight richness of the creme fraiche balanced with the meyer lemons. I'll have to get some broccoli rabe , hopefully I can find some soon. Thanks!

  8. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  9. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  10. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  11. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


Post a Comment

Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna