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Spaghetti al Limone Recipe

I am just returning from my lovely trip to New York City and Update New York. That was really only my third time up to the city and second time Upstate. On this trip I’ve spent more time than the previous two combine. We had a blast! Ate at so many delicious restaurants, and Jeremy’s mom and dad cooked us several great meals. I even cooked one night. I’m still trying to figure out what I can publish here on the blog so I’ll keep you updated.

So I’m sure everyone’s just stuffed out to the max with Thanksgiving and its corresponding leftovers.  Sadly, I did not get to indulge in leftovers myself since I was traveling, but I saw so many good recipes and ideas regarding leftovers. Really wish I’d had some. Thanksgiving tends to be more of a travel time of year than a cooking time of year for me, ironically.  I did manage to prepare two things for Thanksgiving Day in New York: sweet potato biscuits and Brussels sprouts salad. Both were based on recipes I acquired on the web, and I modified both enough that I’ll be able to share them with you soon.

Spaghetti al Limone

But on to today’s recipe! I’ve got a something quick, easy and tasty for you. Call it a win-win-win. It’s a spaghetti al limone recipe, my twist on the classic dish. What I love best about this recipe is its simplicity as well as the flavor punch it packs. Here we rely on three main ingredients:  lemon, basil and Parmesan cheese. I mean, what else would you really need, right?

Spaghetti al Limone

Another great thing about this recipe is that it’s so quick and easy to prepare. While the spaghetti noodles are boiling, you have plenty enough time to prepare the remaining ingredients. Let’s take a look at those.

The lemon juice, Parmesan cheese and olive oil come together to create an uncooked sauce for the final dish.  The only thing that’s cooked in this recipe is the pasta, the remaining ingredients are only heated by the residual heat from the noodles. One of the things that inspired me to create this dish is the lovely bottle of olive oil you see below. My friend Vera brought it as a gift from her trip to Florence. She brought me several cool things that have become tasty recipes that will eventually make their way onto this blog. The olive oil is very light and fruity, as you would expect an authentic EVOO from Italy to be!

Lemon, Olive Oil and Parmesan

While those ingredients are waiting and the flavors are marrying, you can move on to work on the basil.  Lots of basil goes into this dish. As in one whole cup of chiffonade basil. For those of you not familiar with chiffonade, it’s a knife cut that’s used on leafy greens such as lettuce or herbs like basil. You’re basically cutting into long, thin strips.  To make this task much easier, you can stack the leaves, roll them up, then thinly slice with your knife, as shown below. This is a very gentle way to cut basil and also results in very pretty thin strands of basil.

Basil Chiffonade

Chiffonade Basil

Below I call for this dish to be served immediately.  It does keep well in the fridge but will taste best if you make and serve right away.

Since writing this took about as long as preparing the recipe, let’s get to it!

Yield: 4 servings

Spaghetti al Limone Recipe

This spaghetti al limone recipe is a twist on the classic recipe. It's fresh and features basil, lemon juice, lemon zest, parmesan and fruity olive oil.


  • 1 pound spaghetti noodles
  • 2 lemons, juice and zest (1/2 c juice)
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup good quality olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup chiffonade basil leaves (1-3/4 ounce package)


  1. Boil the spaghetti noodles according to package directions.
  2. While the spaghetti is cooking, prepare the remaining ingredients.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, combine the lemon juice, zest, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, kosher salt and black pepper. Mix all the ingredients together very well with a whisk. Break up the Parmesan cheese as much as you can thereby making the sauce "creamy." Set aside until pasta is done.
  4. Gently chiffonade (or thinly slice) the basil leaves. This will give you the best looking basil.
  5. When the pasta is done, drain the pasta and place cooked pasta in a large bowl.
  6. Mix in the the lemon/Parmesan/olive oil sauce. Add the basil and toss thoroughly to combine.
  7. Serve immediately.

Prep:20 min

Cook:10 min

Total:30 min

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