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Pasta al Limone

Servings 4


  • Large pot
  • Large Saucepan
  • microplane
  • Cheese grater


  • 1 lb short pasta such as rotini or penne
  • 5 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large lemon
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese grate more and leave aside for garnish (MUST be freshly grated - aka buy a block and grate it yourself. Store bought grated parmesan has preservatives that will make it clump)
  • freshly grated black pepper


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook 1 pound of pasta per package instructions. 
  • In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt together 5 tablespoons butter and 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil. Using a microplane or the smallest hole on a box grater, grate the zest of 1 lemon and 2 garlic cloves into the sauce pan. Stir to cook the lemon and garlic for several minutes, then turn the heat to low.
  • Once the pasta is cooked, reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta. 
  • To the saucepan with the lemon butter, add the drained pasta, 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, the juice from the zested lemon, 1/3 cup of the reserved pasta cooking water, and a pinch of salt. 
  • Toss everything together until the Parmesan melts into a creamy sauce. Add another splash of the reserved pasta water if you need things a bit saucier. 
  • Serve immediately and garnish with a sprinkle of parmesan and several grinds of fresh pepper. 
Course: Dinner, Main Course, pasta
Cuisine: Italian