Lemon Cream Sauce Pasta Topped with Basil and Roma Tomatoes

29 Jul

This hot summer night called for something with a zip and fresh flavors! I whipped this easy, filling dinner up in just under 30 minutes. The lemony sauce wasn’t overwhelming, but even with the juice and zest of 2 lemons, it could have used more! Maybe I just had wimpy lemons? The newly cut basil and fresh romas mixed nicely with the sauce. I just wish I had had a chilled glass of chardonnay to go with it (and perhaps in the sauce? intriguing…) The recipe definitely has room for tweaking and I look forward to coming up with new ways to improve it!

The cream sauce is just a basic white sauce (bechamel) made from a roux. I really enjoy how the white sauce can pretty much be turned into whatever you fell like creating! It’s very flexible and simple to make, as long as you don’t mind standing over a hot stove for a little while. Want a step-by-step breakdown of making a roux, bechamel or mornay sauce? Read this very informative article!

all it needed was a glass of wine...

(Vegan) Lemon Cream Sauce Pasta Topped with Basil and Roma Tomatoes

Start by getting some water boiling for your noodles! You can pretty much whip up the sauce while the water boils and noodles cook.  I used about 1/3 box of whole wheat Rotini noodles. Just pour the sauce over the noodles, cut some fresh basil, chop some tomatoes and you’ve got a meal!

Lemon Cream Sauce

  • 2 tbsp Earth Balance
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tbsp garlic powder
  • a couple dashes of salt & pepper
  • 1 cup original almond milk (or whatever milk you prefer–not sure how the acidity of the lemons will react to them though!)
  • Zest & juice from 2 lemons

In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the Earth Balance and add the garlic powder, salt and pepper. With a whisk, incorporate the flour and cook for a couple minutes until slightly brown and bubbly. This is a roux! Over medium heat, add a small amount of the almond milk and whisk until mixed and beginning to thicken. Continue stirring and adding the rest of the milk slowly. Sauce should be nice and thick now! If not, there’s always cornstarch 😉 Remove from heat.

With a microplane grater, zest the lemon straight into the sauce. Add lemon juice and stir! This freaked me out, but I noticed that my sauce started getting all bubbly and crazy looking (pretty sure it was the lemon juice reacting with the almond milk). I was worried things might start heading south and curdle, but all settled down and continued being smooth. Success.


  • I might try to somehow make this more lemon-y! Perhaps adding the lemon directly into the melted better? Drizzle more lemon juice over the finished dish? Hmm.
  • Some toasted sliced almonds over the top of this adds a nice crunch!
  • For a green, more basil-centric sauce, whiz the sauce and a handful of basil in the blender
  • Instead of basil, try this with fresh thyme



3 Responses to “Lemon Cream Sauce Pasta Topped with Basil and Roma Tomatoes”

  1. Sadhana July 30, 2011 at 1:51 am #

    Colorful and a delicious looking pasta.

  2. Beatrice July 30, 2011 at 9:22 pm #

    Hi, Stephanie — nice to meet another veg Denver blogger. Lemon cream sauce sounds really refreshing right about now…

    • Stephanie July 31, 2011 at 9:23 pm #

      wow, another Denverite! us veggies seem to be in the minority here! looking forward to reading your blog more! 🙂

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