this little plate

Pasta al Limone

20 minsServes 4Ingredients:400g dried spaghetti3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped3 tbsp lemon juice1/2 tsp sea salt and black pepper1 tbsp olive oil50g butter1 cup sour cream3/4 cup parmesan cheese, plus extra to serve1/2 cup pasta water
Rated 5/5 based on 1 customer reviews

Pasta al Limone.

Serves 4| Ready in 20 mins
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There’s so much to love about Pasta al Limone. The humble and comforting mouthful of perfectly cooked pasta with a silky cream sauce brightened with fresh lemon are simple flavours working at their finest.

Pasta al Limone.

This dish is a classic in the world of pasta, and there’s a reason for it. Pasta al Limone (Lemon Pasta) is simple, delicious and like so much of Italian cooking, consisting of just a few good quality ingredients brought together in a thoughtful way with love and care.

My twist on this dish is adding a little sour cream, traditionally the sauce doesn’t have any cream, although plenty of recipes include it. I feel that a little sour cream adds an indulgent spin that makes it extra luxurious, but feel free to skip this step and add a little more pasta water and lemon juice, letting it bubble and thicken to make a sauce.

The key to nailing this dish is to make sure your pasta is cooked perfectly al dente, and the sauce consistency is at goldilocks level - not too thick, not too thin - just right. You want the cheesy flavour coming through but not overpowering the sharp citrus notes from the lemon.

What you need to make Pasta al Limone

A group of ingredients including dried spaghetti, lemon, sour cream, garlic, salt, pepper and olive oil
Dried spaghetti
Longer pastas work best for this. Linguine is a good option as well.
For a deeper umami flavour
Juice and zest, the start of the show
Sea salt and black pepper
For seasoning
Olive oil and butter
I like cooking with both in this dish
Sour cream
My little luxurious twist
Parmesan cheese
Or you could use pecorino
Pasta water
For extra sauciness

How to make Pasta al Limone

Cream and parmesan cheese are being added to a white wine sauce in a saucepan
1. Cook the pasta

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil, cook the spaghetti to packet instructions, undercooking by a couple of minutes to finish cooking in the sauce.

A creamy lemon sauce is simmering in a saucepan
2. Make the sauce

Meanwhile, in a large pan, heat a combination of olive oil and butter over a medium heat. Add in garlic, letting it sizzle and release its aromatic fragrance for about 2 minutes. The garlic should turn golden but not brown.

Add lemon juice and most of the lemon zest into the sauce, reserving a small amount for garnish. Turn the heat down to low, and stir in sour cream and finely grated parmesan cheese. Season the mixture with a balanced amount of salt and pepper.

Allow the combined ingredients to gently come to a low simmer to thicken up the sauce and allow the flavors to meld together.

Spaghetti is being added to a creamy lemon sauce
3. Bring it all together

Add the cooked and drained spaghetti into the pan with the sauce. Add some of the reserved pasta water. Gently toss and combine the pasta with the sauce until each strand is thoroughly coated.

Plate of cooked pasta with a creamy lemon sauce and cutlery
4. Serve

Divide the pasta between individual plates. For finishing touches, shower extra grated parmesan over the top, adding a generous sprinkle of black pepper. Finally, use the remaining lemon zest as a garnish.

Watch how to make Pasta al Limone

Frequently asked questions & tips for Pasta al Limone.

What other ways can you play with this dish?
A delicious addition to this recipe is to add prawns or a little white wine, extra herbs or chilli.
Is this dish really yummy or just generally yummy?
It's really yummy
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Pasta al Limone.

Cook Time
15 mins
Prep Time
5 mins
There’s so much to love about Pasta al Limone. The humble and comforting mouthful of perfectly cooked pasta with a silky cream sauce brightened with fresh lemon are simple flavours working at their finest.
  • 400g dried spaghetti
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 50g butter
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup parmesan cheese, plus extra to serve
  • 1/2 cup pasta water
Category - Dinner
Cuisine - Italian inspired
Skill Level - Super easy
Other categories -
Pasta, Weeknight meals, Vegetarian
Nutritional information
Calories 684.7 kcal34%
Carbohydrates 79.5 g26%
Sodium 697.3 mg30%
Magnesium 68.8 mg17%
Protein 21.4 g43%
Sugar 5.1 g6%
Calcium 309.9 mg31%
Vitamin A 16%
Fat 31.2 g48%
Fiber 3.3 g13%
Iron 1.6 mg9%
Vitamin C 7%

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