Spaghetti with lemon sauce
Spaghetti al limone
Spaghetti with lemon sauce is a traditional Italian recipe. It is mostly presented as ‘Spaghetti al limone’, and it is more a dressing than a sauce.
Spaghetti with lemon sauce is one of the classic Italian pasta dishes like Spaghetti alla Puttanesca and it has always been a great personal favourite. Still every attempt at making spaghetti with lemon sauce failed, until I discovered a small secret: The lemon is not a sauce but a dressing, and it does NOT improve from being cooked. This makes the preparation soooo much easier, not to mention cleaning up after the meal. And the taste is just right.
400 g spaghetti (should rightfully be linguine, but …)
200 g grated Parmesan
100 ml olive oil
50 ml lemon juice
Grated lemon zest
Fresh basil, salt, pepper
Boil the spaghetti in salted water until al dente.
Whisk grated Parmesan and lemon zest with olive oil and lemon juice.
Adjust the tartness with a little of the boiling water if necessary.
Drain the spaghetti and mix well with the dressing.
Spaghetti with lemon sauce should be sprinkled with pepper and fresh basil before serving.
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That sounds very tasty and fresh. I’ve never tried spaghetti with a lemon dressing.
It’s really good once you strike the right balance between fresh and sour. So don’t cut down on the parmesan.
The secret is not to add any lemon juice as it would curdle the sauce and make it too acidic. Only the rind which you can infuse beforehand in the cream and then discard when in the pan. Also (I’m sure you know this) never use the white part under the rind as it is too bitter.
I love tagliolini al limone – especially if fresh pasta. Only cream, butter, lemon and parmisan! Yam!
I never would have thought of lemon juice with spaghetti. I like that its “more of a dressing instead of a sauce”. You keep giving me so many amazing recipes to try. I’m trying the pumpkin-potato mash later this week.
This is one of my favorite pasta dishes! However, since I’m a BIG preserved lemons fan and always have some homemade preserved lemons in the fridge, I usually use them and then omit the salt from the dish. Beautiful photo!
Hi Francesca, I like a strong but not sour lemony taste in this dish and no cream, so the no juice, rind infusion is not for me.
I would, however, consider MJs suggestion of using preserved lemons. They are so good and tend to be forgotten in my daily cooking.
And then I’m so glad to introduce you to new recipes, Laurel. Hope the mash will be a huge success and turn you on to the fun of cooking:D
I miss good pasta sauces! Despite the Italian roots, Buenos Aires is not so great at the sauces.
Sounds delicious. Guess what’s for dinner tomorrow?
Just made this for dinner tonight. Delicious!
Glad it worked out well:)
I LOVE spaghetti al limone!
And also Italian food in general.
Add some crushed garlic in the lemon “sauce”. This is my handiest sauce for anything, even for mashed potatoes (instead of butter) that I serve with lamb roast or grilled lamb chops. Perfect as dressing too for roasted red peppers.
Great tip Marlys. I have to try that, though today I used the plain version for salmon.