Pasta al Limone

There are tons of ways to make this classic, savory-lemony pasta dish. I share my favorite version that I learned on a farm in Noto, Sicily. This dish is a crowd-pleaser, even pickiest of eaters love it! It takes about 15 minutes to prepare…and about 15 seconds to consume.

Pasta Al Limone Recipe
  • 1 clove of garlic, lightly smashed with the back of a spoon

  • 2 organic lemons, zested

  • Juice from 1 lemon

  • 1 lb. Spaghetti

  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 4 Tbsp butter

  • 1/2 cup parmesan, grated (and more for garnish)

  • Cracked black pepper

  • 1 cup fresh parsley, chopped (and more for garnish)

Step 1  

In a large pot, begin boiling the water for the pasta—make sure it is salted with about 1 Tbsp salt.

Step 2

In a skillet, add the olive oil and clove of garlic, set to medium-low heat and cook for about 6-10 minutes until very soft and aromatic, then remove the garlic. Add in the butter, lemon zest and lemon juice, then turn down the heat to low simmer.

Step 3

When the pasta is about 1 minute away from being perfectly al dente, ladle about 1 cup of the starchy pasta water into the oil-butter mixture, then stir in the cheese, the lemon zest, and some cracked black pepper, and the parsley (it won’t look perfectly homogenous, but that’s okay!).

Step 4

Add in the drained al dente pasta, and fold together with tongs making sure the noodles are evenly coated with the lemony sauce. Plate the pasta, then garnish with more chopped parsley, grated parmesan cheese, and cracked black pepper.


Enjoy with a glass of dry white wine and throw on some Armando Trovajoli on Spotify. You can thank me later.

Theresa Cantafio