Blissfully Delicious

Spaghetti Limone Parmeggiano

I think everyone needs a recipe like this in their repertoire: a delicious dish that can be prepared in less than 15 minutes.  And when I mean, 15 minutes,  I seriously mean one person can get it done in 15 minutes. But don’t let the fancy title fool you to think that it’s a fancy dish, because it’s literally translated to “Lemon Pasta”, spaghetti cooked with lemon paste. Most of the ingredients can be found in any well-stocked pantry, all you need to remember to have lemons and fresh basil. As you can see in my picture above, I forgot to grab some fresh basil this time, and it turned out delicious without them. There are so many variation of this recipe, but I really appreciate the simpleness of this dish, it is light and refreshing from the lemon flavoring, but still hearty… because it is still a pasta dish after all. When I use whole wheat spaghetti, I usually double the amount of lemon paste to make sure that the light lemon flavor can stand up to the whole wheat flavor in the pasta.

3/4 pound (3/4 box) spaghetti
Coarse salt
1 lemon
1 1/2 cups finely grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3–5 tablespoons of pasta water, to thin
Handful fresh basil leaves (from 4 leafy stems)

Boil the spaghetti in salted boiling water, according to the package directions.

Meanwhile, using a Microplane, grate the zest from the lemon into a large mixing bowl. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice into the bowl (I like to use the grater as a strainer—one less thing to clean). Add the 1 1/2 cups Parmesan, pepper, and a pinch of salt, and mix in the olive oil to form a wet paste.

When the spaghetti is perfectly cooked, add 2 or 3 tablespoons of the cooking water to the lemon and cheese mixture. Add the spaghetti to the bowl and toss thoroughly, adding another tablespoon or 2 of pasta water if necessary so that the sauce coats each strand. Roughly tear in the basil leaves.

Serve each portion with a sprinkle of coarse salt, a fresh grind of black pepper, and a few gratings of extra Parmesan.

Yield: 2-3 servings

Adapted from My Father’s Daughter



4 Responses to “Spaghetti Limone Parmeggiano”

  1. #
    Tracey — January 26, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    I love meals like this, especially for nights when it gets to be 5 pm and I realize I didn’t defrost anything :) Lemon plus spaghetti sounds like a total win!

  2. #
    Nami | Just One Cookbook — January 27, 2012 at 3:10 am

    Totally! And I think this is a great side dish next to meat, etc. I sometimes freeze cooked pasta when I have extra. I think I can quickly make the side dish with this simple recipe (and I’m afraid it’s less than 15 minutes!). Thanks for sharing!

  3. #
    Reem | Simply Reem — January 27, 2012 at 10:49 am

    You know I am totally with you, such recipes are actually the star of kitchen. With crazy pace of life dinner, homemade in 15 minutes is nothing less than a blessing….


  1. Pingback: Fettuccine Alfredo |

Leave a Comment