Pasta al Limone

Dinner, Spring, Summer

Pasta al Limone is a simple summer pasta that’s creamy, bright and deliciously lemony. The combination of butter, lemon zest and juice, heavy cream and pasta water, gives you an intensely craveable pasta recipe.

Pasta al Limone in bowls

I’ve recently become obsessed with Italian food. I honestly have no idea why. I mean, I’ve always loved pasta, duh, but now it’s different. I want to read about the different regions, and talk for hours about different pasta drying techniques. It’s become a recent fascination and this recipe is a by product of that.

Ingredients: pasta, lemons, olive oil, garlic, butter

Where is Pasta al Limone From?

Pasta al limone is a famous summer pasta dish that is actually made all over Italy. In my research, I was assuming I would find that its origins were going to be in the South of Italy, maybe Capri or Amalfi Coast, but in fact, it’s made all over. But it is made in abundance in the South during the summer months.

Zest and cheese grated on a cutting board

How to Make Pasta al Limone

  1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. This recipes goes FAST so I say get everything ready.
  2. Melt your butter and then add the garlic, olive oil and a few pinches of salt. Let it cook until slightly softened.
  3. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice and then turn the heat off.
  4. In the pot of boiling water, add your pasta and cook just shy of al dente, about 1 minute under. I like to do this so that I can cook the pasta even further in the pan with the sauce.
  5. Add the heavy cream to the sauce and scoop out (closer to the cooking time so that you’re sure it’s starchy water), remove about 1 cup of pasta water. Add 1/2 cup to the sauce.
  6. Bring it to a simmer and let it cook for about 2 to 3 minutes.
  7. Then, add in the cooked and drained pasta, cheese and mix it vigorously for about 1 minute. This process is super important because it really emulsifies the sauce and ensures even coating.
  8. Plate it up and top it with some Italian parsley or black pepper!

Cream sauce cooking

Tips and Tricks

  • The biggest key to a good pasta sauce? Pasta water. It’s like the specialty ingredient that makes every sauce THAT much better. It’s glorious.
  • In this recipe, you really need the zest AND the juice. It adds such a punch of brightness to an otherwise overly fatty dish.

Pasta al Limone in a pan

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Pasta al Limone

Pasta al Limone

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5 from 4 votes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Serving Size: 2
Calories: 450kcal
Pasta al Limone is a simple summer pasta that’s creamy, bright and deliciously lemony. The combination of butter, lemon zest and juice, heavy cream and pasta water, gives you an intensely craveable pasta recipe.

Ingredients

  • Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Zest from 2 lemons
  • Juice from 2 lemons, (about 1/3 cup lemon juice)
  • 16 ounces pasta of choice
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup pasta water
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan-Reggiano , about 2 ounces
  • Handful of Italian parsley, minced

Directions

  • Bring a pot of salted water to a boil.
  • In large skillet, set over medium heat, add the butter. When melted, add the minced garlic, olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice and a few pinches of salt. Turn off the heat and turn your attention to the pasta.
  • Meanwhile, in the pot that’s boiling, add the pasta and cook it until about 1 minute under al dente. We’re going to cook it a bit longer in the pot with the sauce.
  • Remove about 1 cup of pasta water. To the sauce, add the heavy cream and 1/2 cup of pasta water. Cook it on a simmer for about 3 minutes. This will thicken the sauce. Add the pasta, along with the cheese and mix vigorously for 1 minute. This will ensure an even coating of the sauce.
  • Plate it up and top it with a sprinkling of Italian parsley or black pepper.

Notes

Tips and Tricks:
  • The biggest key to a good pasta sauce? Pasta water. It’s like the specialty ingredient that makes every sauce THAT much better. It’s glorious.
  • In this recipe, you really need the zest AND the juice. It adds such a punch of brightness to an otherwise overly fatty dish. 
Equipment: 
Le Creuset Braiser | Olive Oil Dispenser | Tongs | Colander
CourseDinner
CuisineItalian
Keywordlemon pasta, limone, pasta al limone
Serving: 2g | Calories: 450kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 38g | Saturated Fat: 32g | Cholesterol: 129mg | Sodium: 29mg | Potassium: 39mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 234IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 65mg | Iron: 1mg
Did you make this Recipe? Tag me Today!Tag @acozykitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #acozykitchen
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17 Comments

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Recipe Rating




  • Reply Maggie July 15, 2020 at 6:11 pm

    5 stars
    Wowowow my whole family loved this pasta!! I’m a psychopath and used a combo of whole milk and vegetable broth instead of heavy cream (because I didn’t have any) and this recipe STILL turned out great. Perfect amount of lemon and richness. Added shrimp for some protein and the whole meal was fabulous.

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme July 17, 2020 at 11:13 am

      haha amazing! i’m so glad to hear that the lemon juice didn’t break the milk. sounds good with shrimp, too! 🙂

  • Reply Amber June 26, 2020 at 7:45 am

    Planning on making this tonight and am really excited! Did you have any issues with curdling? I didn’t even know about that as a possibility but apparently there’s something with lemon and heavy cream. Either way, I’m gonna follow the recipe and see how things go!

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme June 26, 2020 at 8:21 am

      this shouldn’t happen with heavy cream. it has enough fat that it can stand up to the lemon juice. BUT if you used regular milk, it would definitely curdle. let me know how it goes! 🙂

  • Reply Kelly June 25, 2020 at 4:59 pm

    5 stars
    I cut this recipe in half because I thought I was just cooking for one. My lactose intolerant boyfriend had one bite and forced me to give him some… something he never normally does with dishes like this. It’s THAT good. And now I’m wishing I made the whole thing!

    It’s so bright & lemony & delicious. Thank you!! Can’t wait to make this again.

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme June 25, 2020 at 7:08 pm

      hahaha i love hearing this. just a tip tho: someone on instagram made this recipe using cashew cream and she said it tasted great!

  • Reply Stephanie Tu June 23, 2020 at 7:58 pm

    5 stars
    As always, bomb dot com. Super easy to make. Fiancé always complains my dishes take too long, but this one finished before his tonight!!

    The zest is everything.

  • Reply Tracy June 23, 2020 at 4:50 pm

    Made the recipe tonight. Used fresh pasta. I love lemon, but thought it was overpowering.

  • Reply Jen @ Fresh From The... June 23, 2020 at 2:31 pm

    Looks so yummy! I’ve been super into pasta lately too.

  • Reply Nichole A June 22, 2020 at 3:50 pm

    5 stars
    Just made this tonight. It came together quickly and uses ingredients most already have in their kitchen. Perfect for a busy weeknight. Will definitely be adding this to the meal rotation. Great recipe!!

  • Reply Rosie June 19, 2020 at 3:37 am

    This looks great! Haw many servings does this recipe make?

  • Reply Natalie R June 18, 2020 at 2:03 pm

    Definitely my kind of pasta dish – loaded with flavor but quick and easy! So excited to try this 🙂 Could you tell me what kind of noodle shape that is? I had it once at an Italian restaurant but have never been able to find it in my local store or even figure out the name!

  • Reply Karen Oliver June 18, 2020 at 1:34 pm

    This looks really good. It is a light pasta dish in my opinion. What kind of pasta did you use here? It is great looking.