If you are looking for a light pasta with a big flavor, then this lemony Rotini pasta recipe is for you. The pasta is loaded with healthy vegetables and shrimp that can be served warm or cold, for lunch or dinner. It's an easy pasta recipe that is budget-friendly.
Easy Rotini Pasta Recipe
This rotini pasta is flavorful and makes for crave-able comfort food.
The pasta has the right ratio of protein, carbohydrates, vegetables, and fat that will keep you feeling full all day long. On top of that, the lemon sauce gives the pasta a refreshing pizazz.
The pasta tastes good by itself but can also be served on the side to accompany the main meal.
The ingredients for Lemony Rotini Pasta
To make this rotini pasta recipe, you'll need the following ingredients:
1. Rotini. It is one of the most popular Italian pasta. This corkscrew-shaped pasta is made from semolina flour and can be substituted with Fusilli, Gemelli, Penne, Rotelle, and Torchio. Due to its shape, rotini can hold sauces better, making it perfect for any meat sauce or hearty soup.
2. Red onion. I usually use yellow onion for recipes, including pasta and soups. For this recipe, I opted in for red onion because it's a slightly milder flavor than a yellow onion. In addition, the deep color makes the pasta look more attractive.
3. Bell Pepper. You can pretty much use bell pepper of any color. Bell peppers are packed with Vitamin A, C, potassium, and fiber. They're full of nutrients and flavors. I used bell pepper to add a nice crunch to the pasta.
4. Broccolini Also known as baby broccoli. It has slimmer, sweeter stalks, and looser florets compared to regular broccoli. Broccolini is also more tender and has a milder flavor than broccoli. It goes so well with the other ingredients in this recipe.
5. Shrimp. It makes a great protein choice for a light meal. In this recipe, I only used 10 pieces of shrimp, but you can always use more if desired.
6. Lemon and Other Seasoning
I only seasoned the pasta with fresh lemon juice and zest, salt, garlic, and black pepper to keep it simple and to highlight its lemony flavor.
This rotini pasta recipe is customizable. Feel free to use fresh or dried herbs such as basil, oregano, parsley, or Italian seasoning can also be used to bring more flavors to the dish according to your taste.
How to Cook Rotini Pasta with Broccolini and Lemon Sauce
The preparation and cooking process of this rotini pasta is pretty simple. Here are some steps to follow.
1. Cook the Rotini and Blanch the Broccolini
Blanching broccolini prior to cooking it into the pasta will maintain the bright green color, flavor, and crunchy texture. So please do not skip this process.
- In a large pot, bring salted water to a boil.
- Cook the rotini until al dente according to the product packaging. Remove the cooked rotini from the pot and set it aside.
- Add broccolini into the boiling water and cook for 2 minutes, or until the color turns bright green.
2. Cook the Aromatic Vegetables and Shrimp
- In a deep skillet, heat the oil, and cook diced red onions for 2 minutes. Add the diced red bell pepper and cook for 5 minutes, or until the onion is soft and the bell pepper is tender.
- Add the garlic and stir for 15 seconds. Add shrimp and cook for 2 minutes or until fully cooked.
3. Combine All of The Ingredients
- Add the blanched broccoli, cooked pasta, pasta water, lemon zest, and lemon juice into the pot. Stir the pasta for 1-2 minutes.
- Turn off the heat. Add parmesan cheese and stir until it is combined.
How to Store Leftover Rotini Pasta
- Let the pasta cool down before refrigerating.
- Do not let the leftover cooked pasta sit at room temperature for more than 2 hours or 1 hour If the temperature is above 90 °F. You can learn more here.
- Once the pasta is cooled, transfer it to an airtight container. The leftover will last 3-5 days in the fridge or 2-3 months in the freezer.
How to Reheat Leftover Pasta
In a microwave:
- Place a single serving of the leftover rotini pasta in a microwave-safe bowl.
- Drizzle the pasta with a small amount of water then cover the dish with a microwave-safe lid.
- Cook the pasta in a microwave for about 1 minute at medium heat.
- If the pasta isn't warmed all the way through, stir it, and cook it again in 15-second increments until completely heated.
In an oven:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Spread the leftover pasta evenly on a baking pan/dish.
- Drizzle the pasta with a small amount of water then cover the baking dish with an oven-safe lid or aluminum foil.
- Reheat the pasta in the oven for 15 minutes or longer until it's completely heated.
This recipe is customizable, feel free to adjust the seasoning, and add or swap the ingredients according to your preference.
Check Out More Delicious Pasta Recipes
I hope you'll enjoy this recipe and share it with friends! If you try it and don’t mind, please leave me a comment and give this recipe a rating.
Lemony Rotini Pasta with Shrimp and Broccolini
- 2 cups rotini pasta, (raw)
- 4 oz broccolini
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium red onion , (diced)
- 1 red bell pepper, (diced)
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 10-12 pieces shrimp, (use more according to your liking)
- zest from one lemon
- 2-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- salt and black pepper, (to taste)
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Cook the rotini until al dente according to the product packaging. Drain the pasta and reserve about a ¼ cup of pasta water.
- Add broccolini into the boiling water and cook for 2 minutes, or until the color turns bright green. Remove from the pot, and drain.
- In a deep skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Cook diced red onions and a pinch of salt for 2 minutes. Add the diced red bell pepper and cook for 5 minutes, or until the onion is soft and the bell pepper is tender.
- Add the garlic and stir for 15 seconds. Add shrimp and cook until they're pink and barely cooked through.
- Add broccolini, cooked pasta, lemon zest and lemon juice, and ¼ cup of pasta water into the pot. Toss the pasta for about 2 minutes on medium-low heat to allow the pasta to absorb the sauce and the shrimp are fully cooked. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt or more lemon juice if needed.
- Turn off the heat. Add parmesan cheese, and stir until it is combined.
- Let the pasta cool down before refrigerating but do not let it sit out at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
- Transfer it to an airtight container. The leftover will last 3-5 days in the fridge or 2-3 months in the freezer.
- In a microwave: Place a single serving of the leftover rotini pasta in a microwave-safe bowl. Drizzle the pasta with a small amount of water then cover the dish with a microwave-safe lid. Cook for 1 minute at medium heat. Open the microwave, stir, and cook it again in 15-second increments if necessary until completely heated.
- In an oven. Spread the leftover pasta evenly on a baking pan/dish. Drizzle the pasta with a small amount of water then cover the baking dish with an oven-safe lid or aluminum foil. Reheat the pasta in the preheated oven at 350°F for 15 minutes or longer until it's completely heated.