Calling all lemon lovers! This Lemon Garlic Pasta is filled with the bite of garlic and tangy citrus and it's all ready in under 30 minutes!Jump to Recipe
This recipe for Lemon Garlic Pasta is a love letter to all my fellow lemon obsessed friends. It takes the basic form of aglio e olio, but adds about a truckload (technical term) of lemon to really amp up the flavor.
It's a true weeknight meal, requiring only 30 minutes from start to finish. While the pasta is cooking you can prepare a quick side salad or some air fryer garlic bread to go with it!
Other Great Pasta Recipes
- spaghetti (or other long noodle of your choice)
- olive oil
- parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper
- red pepper flakes (optional)
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Tips and Tricks
- This recipe comes together really quickly, so it's important to have all the major elements at hand up front (otherwise known as "mise en place"). That way you wont be struggling to grate parmesan cheese right at the last minute.
- One great thing about this recipe is that you don't really have to time the pasta - because it finishes up in the sauce, you can make the pasta pretty well before hand, and let it hang out in the colander until you're ready to toss it with the sauce.
- The easiest way to get the little slivers of garlic that the recipe calls for is to use a mandolin. I use this one. If your knife skills are up to it though, you can definitely freehand them.
- When you add the pasta water to the oil in the pan, it will seem like it's not going to come together. Keep whisking and eventually the sauce will come together.
- What if I don't like lemon? Then I'm not sure why you'd click on this recipe :). But honestly, you can leave the lemon out if you'd like and just have a classic oil and garlic sauce. Or you can leave out either the zest OR the juice, which will tone the lemon down quite a bit. Personally, I'd leave out the zest and keep the juice if I were doing that.
- Is this Lemon Garlic Pasta healthy? I guess that depends on your version of "healthy". It's pasta, which isn't a traditionally healthy dish, but compared to something like an alfredo, or a dish with a ton of cheese, it's comparatively healthy. The sauce is olive oil based, which is considered a heart healthy fat.
- How can I store leftovers? Leftover pasta will keep in the fridge for a day or two in an air-tight container. To reheat either microwave on medium power for 3-4 minutes, or reheat in a non-stick skillet over medium heat.
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Lemon Garlic Pasta
- 12 oz spaghetti
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic sliced thin
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper optional
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 lemon zested and juiced
- pasta water see directions
- ½ cup minced fresh parsley
- ½ cup parmesan cheese freshly grated
- Bring a pot of water to boil and cook the pasta to al dente according to the directions on the package. Before draining, scoop out 1 cup of pasta water and set it aside. Drain the pasta and let it rest in the colander until the last step.
- Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick skillet, and then add add the slivered garlic, stirring frequently. Let it cook 2-3 minutes, or until just beginning to brown around the edges. Add the crushed red pepper (if using) and cook for another 15-30 seconds.
- Add the pasta water (be careful, it may splash) and bring it to a boil. Add the salt, then lower the heat, and simmer for about 3-5 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced by about a third.
- Once the sauce has reduced, add in the drained pasta. Add the lemon juice and zest, the parsley, and the parmesan cheese, and use tongs to toss the pasta so that it get coated in the sauce.
- Allow the pasta to rest for 2-3 minutes so that it fully absorbs the sauce, and serve with extra parmesan cheese.