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5 from 9 votes

Linguine al Limone

Linguine al limone is a simple, creamy lemon pasta made with Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, butter, lemon juice, zest, and pasta water.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4


  • 1 pound linguine or spaghetti, fettuccine, etc
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/4 cups Parmigiano Reggiano cheese finely grated, plus more for serving
  • 5 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 medium lemons, zested divided
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons basil chopped
  • 2 cups reserved pasta water will not need all of it


  • Cook pasta to al dente in salted water (2 tbsp kosher salt per gallon of water).
  • A few minutes before the pasta finishes cooking heat a pan to low and add the butter and olive oil.  Add half the lemon zest and let it cook for a minute or two.
  • Add the wet (pull pasta out with tongs) al dente pasta to the pan and stir and/or toss to incorporate.
  • Add the lemon juice and toss to coat.  Turn the heat off. Wait 30 seconds, then begin adding the cheese a bit at a time.  Toss and stir quickly to emulsify.  If the sauce is too thick add a bit more pasta water (a tablespoon or two at a time) to get the consistency just right.
  • Test and add kosher salt and pepper to taste.  Serve immediately as the pasta can dry out quickly.  If needed add a bit more cooler pasta water and toss right before serving to loosen the pasta right back up. Top each plate with a touch of the remaining zest and a sprinkle of basil or parsley.  Serve with more grated parmesan. Enjoy!



  • Tossing pasta in the pan will help emulsify the sauce of pasta water, cheese, and lemon juice.  It's a good skill to learn and will massively improve your pasta recipes!
  • If the cheese clumps don't worry.  It can be loosened up with cooler pasta water or even cold tap water.  
  • Leftovers can be saved for up to 3 days in the fridge, but pasta al limone is best served and eaten right away.


Calories: 556kcal | Carbohydrates: 62.8g | Protein: 19.7g | Fat: 25.6g | Saturated Fat: 11.7g | Cholesterol: 128mg | Sodium: 306mg | Potassium: 206mg | Calcium: 208mg | Iron: 4mg