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Quick and Easy Pasta al Limone

This Quick and Easy Pasta al Limone is a simple restaurant-quality weeknight meal made with fresh lemons, butter and Parmesan cheese.
Course Main Course, Main Dish, Pasta
Cuisine Easy, Italian, Summer, Weeknight Meal
Keyword Pasta al Limone, Quick and Easy Pasta al Limone
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 595kcal
Author Chrissie


For the pasta:

  • 8 cups water
  • 5 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/2 pound Tagliatelle noodles dry

For the sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic finely minced or pressed
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1 cup pasta water reserved from cooking the Tagliatelle
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter cut into cubes
  • 1 cup shredded fresh Parmesan cheese (use fresh Parmesan only, not the shelf-stable variety)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • freshly chopped parsley and shaved Parmesan for serving
  • extra lemon zest for serving


  • Add the water to a large pot along with the salt. When it reaches a boil, add the pasta and cook just under al dente (follow package directions for al dente and minus one minute).
  • As the pasta cooks, heat a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Add the olive oil, garlic and lemon zest, sauteeing until the garlic is fragrant and heated through.
  • Add the lemon juice and pasta water (dip a measuring cup into the pot once the pasta is almost done), whisking constantly.
  • Reduce the heat to medium low and add the cubes of butter one by one as you whisk continuously.
  • Once all the butter has been added and the sauce has emulsified, add the boiled pasta and toss it in the sauce gently until it's coated in the sauce.
  • Add the parmesan cheese and toss again.
  • Serve immediately with a sprinkle of freshly cracked black pepper, some more shaved parmesan, lemon zest and chopped parsley, if desired.



When grating lemon zest, be sure to use only the yellow part. The white rind under the yellow skin is very bitter and will give the dish a bitter taste if used. 


Serving: 1cups | Calories: 595kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 40g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Cholesterol: 131mg | Sodium: 3331mg | Potassium: 179mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 960IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 322mg | Iron: 1mg