In under fifteen minutes, this bright Lemon Spaghetti can be on your dinner table. Incredibly, it’s so super creamy without adding heavy cream. Garlic infused olive oil combines with lemon zest, fresh lemon juice, a touch of butter, Parmesan cheese and pasta water to form the most luscious lemony sauce. Lemony pasta is one perfect side dish, or use as a base for your favorite protein. Believe me, leftovers are even better the next day!
Of course, I created a short TikTok video making this Lemony Pasta. Be sure to check it out in the recipe below. Also, this same video has gotten almost 20k views on Instagram! If you have not yet signed up for this social media platform, use my code 5SSIS800K0H06 to create an account.
ORIGIN OF LEMON SPAGHETTI (SPAGHETTI AL LIMONE)
Spaghetti al Limone originated in Campania, a region of southern Italy known for its lemons. This Simple Lemon Spaghetti recipe is typically made with cream. However, I wanted this version of creamy lemon spaghetti to mimic a cacio e pepe recipe. Pasta water and Parmesan cheese combine to form a creamy sauce, with tons of lemony goodness from the zest and juice of organic lemons. Oh…and of course, loads of black pepper!
LET’S TALK LEMONS
Lemons are a great source of fiber and vitamin C. Did you know there really is technique involved in picking the perfect lemon? Obviously, if you are not from the Italian coast or have your lemon tree, you will have to find lemons in your local grocery store or farmer’s market.
Classic Eureka lemons are available year-round in most markets.
How to pick the perfect lemon
- look for a shiny yellow exterior, with little to no nicks or cuts
- opt for a heavier lemon
- choose lemons not more than three inches tall
- avoid lemons with a tough skin
- pick a lemon that has a bit of give when squeezed
- to increase the shelf-life of lemons, store in a plastic bag in fridge (should last up to three weeks)
TIPS FOR MAKING THE MOST PERFECT LEMON PASTA
Timing is everything when it comes to this lemon pasta recipe. Immediately after your drop the pasta, start creating that lemony sauce. Also, do NOT forget to salt your pasta water.
Additional tips to consider:
- place the pasta directly from the pot into the pan very al dente (the pasta will finish cooking in the sauce)
- once you start combining the Parmesan cheese with the pasta water, stir vigorously to create a sauce
- incorporate the cheese in batches to avoid clumping
HOW TO SERVE LEMON SPAGHETTI
Once you have plated a gorgeous mound of Lemon Spaghetti, garnish with fresh parsley (or basil), lemon zest and Parmesan cheese.
As mentioned above, serve up this lemon pasta as a main meal, side dish, or pair with your favorite protein for a heartier meal:
- chicken cutlets
- cannellini beans (definitely trying this next time)
- ricotta or burrata cheese
SIMPLE LEMON SPAGHETTI
- Total Time: 13 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
Yearning for a quick and delicious weeknight meal? This Simple Lemon Spaghetti fits the bill.
Garlic infused olive oil combines with lemon zest, fresh lemon juice, a touch of butter, Parmesan cheese and pasta water to form the most luscious lemony sauce. Lemony pasta is one perfect side dish, or use as a base for your favorite protein. Believe me, leftovers are even better the next day!
- 1 lb. spaghetti
- 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves
- zest of one lemon, plus more for garnish
- juice of one lemon
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
- 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
- 1 to 1 1/2 ladles of pasta water
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley, plus more for garnish
- Boil water for the pasta.
- Drop the pasta.
- In a deep pan, infuse the olive oil with the garlic. (Do not brown or burn the garlic)
- Add the lemon zest, lemon juice and butter to the pan.
- Once the butter melts, add the black pepper.
- Transfer the super al dente pasta from the pot into the pan with tongs.
- Top with 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese.
- Add one ladle of pasta water.
- Mix vigorously to avoid the cheese from clumping.
- Add additional cheese and pasta water as needed to form a creamy sauce. (Be sure to mix vigorously with additions.
- Toss in the fresh parsley.
- Garnish with fresh parsley, lemon zest and Parmesan cheese.
SEE POST FOR TIPS!
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 8 minutes
- Serving Size: 1
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