Annie Bell’s rocket and lemon fusilli recipe

I love this lemony sauce and, yes, this is a lot of rocket but it cooks down to nothing when wilted. Red lentil pasta is rich in protein and more nourishing than white, so you don’t need as much.

rocket and lemon fusilli
Nassima Rothacker


200g red lentil fusilli (or 350g regular fusilli)
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve
1 banana shallot, peeled and finely chopped
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon, plus 1 tbsp juice
200g rocket, a handful reserved to garnish and the rest coarsely chopped
50g freshly grated parmesan, plus fine shavings to serve
Sea salt and black pepper

  1. Bring a large pan of water to the boil, add the pasta, give it a stir and cook according to the packet instructions until just tender.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp of oil in another large pan over a medium heat and fry the shallot for a minute or two until softened, then stir in the lemon zest. Add the chopped rocket about a third at a time, stirring until it wilts.
  3. Reserving a mug of cooking liquid, drain the pasta using a colander and add it to the pan with the rocket. Add the parmesan, the lemon juice and about half a mug of the cooking water. Gently heat, stirring until the pasta is coated in a creamy sauce (add a little more cooking liquid if needed). Taste for seasoning and serve scattered with the reserved rocket leaves, more parmesan and an extra drizzle of oil.