crème fraiche, lemon zest, arugula and Parmigiano tossed with linguine

by Michelle

Crème Fraiche is that elusive French dairy product that rarely sees it’s way onto the shelves of Atlantic Canadian supermarkets. In fact, when I travel to larger cities outside eastern Canada I only find it in gourmet grocery stores. It has a much shorter shelf life than sour cream and is less well known. If you aren’t familiar with Crème Fraiche, let me formally introduce you.

Crème Fraiche looks like sour cream but has all the characteristics of a more elegant younger sister.

Crème Fraiche is lighter in consistency and more subtle in flavour. You can use it in both savoury and sweet applications. Either way, it’ll take your dish to the heavens.

crème fraiche, lemon zest, arugula and Parmigiano tossed with linguine l

This time of year is when I start thinking about the summer menu for the restaurant. Every dish on my menu starts in my kitchen at home. Testing and retesting until I find the magic. This pasta dish took one try. When you live in Canada, winter cooking involves a lot of soups, stews and casseroles. We need stick to your ribs food to survive our long, cold winters. All the deep, warm flavours leave me craving lighter and brighter dishes. This is a pasta dish that my chefs will love me for. The build is simple and the taste is explosive!

Crème Fraiche, lemon zest and juice, parmigiano and fresh arugula tossed with hot linguine is drop dead gorgeous.

The most difficult part about making Crème Fraiche is waiting. After mixing the heavy cream and buttermilk together in a mason jar, you need to let it sit at room temperature for at least 24 hours.

Store crème fraîche in the refrigerator once it’s nice and thick. Use within three days, once it’s opened,

Unopened crème fraîche will last up to two weeks. Crème fraîche should not be frozen.

The beauty of this pasta dish is in its simplicity. When the pasta is al dente, toss it with the remaining ingredients and you’re ready to plate.

The sauce requires no cooking – just toss everything together and plate!

crème fraiche, lemon zest, arugula and Parmigiano tossed with linguine l

I made enough pasta for two servings when I tested this recipe thinking I would package half for lunch the next day . That didn’t happen. After I photographed it, I literally couldn’t stop eating it. So good, I made it again the next day!

Thanks for reading.

crème fraiche, lemon zest, arugula and Parmigiano tossed with linguine

Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )
Serves: 2 Prep Time: Cooking Time: Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat


2 cups whipping cream
2 tablespoons buttermilk
1 lemon, zested and juiced
2 handfuls of arugula
1/2 cup grated parmigiano
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper


  1. Place whipping cream and buttermilk in a 500ml mason jar.
  2. Place lid on tightly and shake well.
  3. Remove lid and leave jar on counter for at least 24 hours or until contents resemble sour cream.
  4. Once thickened, place lid on and refrigerate.


  1. Prepare pasta according to manufacturer's instructions.
  2.  Place 2 heaping tablespoons of crème fraiche, lemon zest, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, arugula and grated parmigiano in medium sized mixing bowl.
  3. Add hot pasta, toss, season and plate.


THE LOVE: This dish is wide open to interpretation. Increase or decrease ingredients to suit your own palate.