20 Minute Weeknight Spaghetti is a quick weeknight pasta dish with a marinara sauce that can be made in 20 minutes with 5 ingredients, and a surprise kick of lemon to brighten it all up a bit.Jump to Recipe
If I had to choose a last meal it's entirely possible that I'd choose this 20 Minute Weeknight Spaghetti. You know how people say that they could eat nothing but pizza and never get bored of it? That's how I feel about pasta.
I love pasta in basically every size, shape, and form that you can get it but my heart has a soft spot for an easy and delicious red sauce. This one fits the bill perfectly. It only needs 5 ingredients, most of which are pantry staples and it really is ready in under 20 minutes.
PRO TIP: Because you're only using a handful of ingredients, try to use the best ingredients you can. Put away the green can, and use real parmesan cheese here.
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Why Should You Make this Recipe?
- It's so stupidly easy to make. The hardest part of this recipe is grating the lemon zest.
- It's absolutely delicious and totally unexpected. The lemon compliments the tomato really well!
- Spaghetti (or the pasta of your choice. I really like traditional spaghetti in this though)
- Olive Oil
- Crushed Red Pepper
- Crushed Tomatoes
- Lemon Zest
- Parmesan Cheese
Tips and Tricks
Don't preheat the pan - you want a gentle heat to get started so as not to burn the shallot and garlic.
Make extra pasta and set it aside for leftovers. When you're ready for tomorrow's lunch, you only have to boil water and then throw the already cooked pasta in there for about 2 minutes to heat through.
How should I store the leftovers? Store the sauce and the pasta separately - the sauce is a loose sauce and will definitely soak into the pasta if you store them together.
How do I cook my pasta "al dente"? The only real way to tell if your pasta is cooked to your liking is to taste it. I generally start testing my pasta about 2 minutes before the timer goes off, and then test it once per minute from there until I get to my desired doneness.
What if I don't like lemon? Well then honestly, we probably can't be friends. JK. But seriously, this sauce is still delicious without the lemon.
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20 Minute Weeknight Spaghetti
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 shallot minced
- 3 cloves of garlic minced
- ¼ - ½ teaspoon of crushed red pepper depends on how spicy you like things
- 1 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
- zest of 1 lemon
- 10 ounces of spaghetti or pasta of your choice I honestly think this tastes best with regular spaghetti
- Parmesan cheese
- Boil a large pot of water, and cook noodles to package directions.
- While the pasta is cooking, add the olive oil, shallot and garlic to a cold pan, and add the crushed red pepper. Turn the heat to medium high, and cook until garlic becomes fragrant (about a minute). Once you can smell the garlic, add the can of crushed tomatoes and the lemon zest and stir to combine.
- Let the marinara simmer gently while the pasta cooks.
- Once the pasta is done cooking, throw it in a bowl, add the sauce and a bunch of parmesan cheese, and your dinner is done in less than 20 minutes!