Spaghetti al Limone

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Spaghetti al Limone is an easy Italian pasta dish that has the perfect amount of lemony goodness, cheese and in just 20 minutes!

lemon pasta, close up


A classic Italian flavor that you may not often associate with Italian cooking is lemon.  Lemon cookies, in pastries, lemon cakes, lemon fish, if there is a place to use lemon, we Italians will use it.  Oddly, I do not care for a lemon meringue pie.  Perhaps I have just never had a really good one.  I am picky about my meringues, and my pies.

Spaghetti al Limone

Trying to keep things light and having a pantry that is full, but nothing defrosted from the freezer I remembered the spaghetti al limone (Spaghetti with Lemon Sauce) I had loved years ago.  Most Italians that make this light and refreshing dish make the sauce in a bowl, using a no cook method.  I personally prefer the stove top to cook the garlic and help thicken the sauce.

I hope you enjoy it!  We did.  Em and I couldn’t get enough.  Mr. W doesn’t care for olive oil as much as Em and I do.

With love, from our simple kitchen to yours. 

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Spaghetti al Limone on a plate

Spaghetti al Limone

Donna Elick
Spaghetti al Limone
5 stars from 1 review
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Main
Cuisine Italian
Method Stovetop
Servings 4


  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 1/2 cup olive oil, + 1 tablespoon, divided
  • 2 garlic cloves, ground on microplane or minced
  • 2/3 cup fresh grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice, 2 large lemons juiced
  • Salt
  • black pepper, Fresh cracked
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zested
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves, chopped


  • Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally
  • In a medium pan add 1 tablespoon olive oil and 2 garlic cloves. Cook garlic until starting to brown. Add the remaining olive oil, lemon juice and parmesan to the pan. Whisk until combined and thickened.
  • Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water. Add 1 cup of the pasta water to the pan with the olive oil and lemon. Whisk until thickened. Add the sauce to the pasta and toss well to combine.
  • Season with salt and pepper. Add lemon zest and parsley and combine.
  • Serve immediately.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 740cal | Carbohydrates: 90g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 301mg | Sugar: 4g | Fiber: 4g | Calcium: 181mg | Iron: 2mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Originally published July 2011.

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  1. I love spaghetti since I was a child. My mom always cooks me, my brothers and my sister whenever it's our birthday or other special occasions that needs celebrating. Thanks for sharing this recipe. Now I can cook for my mom.

  2. 5 stars
    I keep using this recipe and my family all love it! It is such a refreshing and tasty sauce, I would have never thought it was this simple. Delicious!

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