Lemon Rocket Penne

20 minutes
2 people

250 grams Mitsides Penne, (half a pack)
1/4 teaspoon finely diced anchovy
1/2 garlic, finely diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of red hot chili flakes, optional
2 cups rocket and/or spinach
1/8 cup pine nuts
juice of 1/2 lemon
grated zest of 1/2 a lemon
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

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1. Place your penne in a large pot of boiling, salted water. Cook until al dente.

2. While the penne is boiling, in a large frying pan over medium heat, add the garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper, and – if adding – your anchovy, chili flakes and pine nuts. Fry until golden brown and remove from the heat. Stir in the juice from half a lemon, lemon zest, and half of the Parmesan cheese.

3. When the pasta is ready, strain it and add it to the large frying pan with the sauce. Stir all together and serve with the remaining Parmesan cheese on top.

I like my pasta easy. Preferably with what I have to hand. So this is why I really enjoy this recipe. In Cyprus, there is no shortage of rocket and lemons. Particularly in my kitchen. I am sometimes asked what you can always find in my kitchen. Without skipping a beat I will always say lemons. Rocket is usually something I buy for salads and inevitably I will always have some leftover. Well, it’s either rocket or spinach. I use both in this recipe depending on what I have around. I hope you enjoy. You can also cut out the pine nuts, chili flakes, and anchovy and still end up with a fantastic tasting pasta. I change it up depending on what I have to hand. Make sure to really toast the pine nuts if you use them though because they add a welcome nutty flavour to the dressing.


  1. I agree- pasta should be an easy dish. But that doesn’t mean it should be boring. There are plenty of ways to liven it up. And I also like adding in some veggies, it’s a great way to get them into your diet if you aren’t a big veggie eater.

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Cyprus Cuisine

“Cyprus Cuisine”, published by Whitecap Books in 2021, is now available for purchase. Christina Loucas shares over 80 recipes that showcase the very best of Cypriot cooking.

Cyprus Cuisine