I love lemons. Truth be known, it might just be my favorite fruit … it’s versatile: lemon cake, limoncello, lemon jam … and it’s an essential component for a good cocktail, a proper hollandaise sauce, and most seafood dishes. So like I said. I love lemons. I even have a lovely blue and white porcelain bowl filled with lemons. Why? Because it makes me happy.
Anyhoo, the other day, Eric sent me a video he saw of a home cook making lemon spaghetti and I took that as his answer to the proverbial questions: What sounds good for dinner? And so, I watched the video and Googled lemon pasta sauce and found recipes that were simple, as well as some that were a bit more complex. And like I do with most dinner “ideas,” I took bits and pieces of what I liked and pulled this together.
About the pasta, yes, it matters. And yes, De Cecco is a little more expensive but it’s worth it. It’s not overprocessed like so many of the other dried pastas you find in America. So while it has gluten, it doesn’t affect your body as harshly. At least both Eric and I find this to be true, hopefully you will too. As for the type you use to make this dish, you can use any type, I just happen to think the thick, roundness of bucatini compliments this sauce.
Note, we added shrimp and asparagus—I think lemon compliments both asparagus and shrimp, but you certainly can leave them out. I thought about adding peas, but decided that would be overwhelming and I really wanted to preserve the lemon flavor, not mask it. And no, this is not vegan. Although I do substitute a plant-based cream for dairy, I still used one egg yolk and dairy cheese.
Lemon Pasta aka Pasta al Limone
PREP TIME: 20 minutes | COOK TIME: 20 minutes | SERVES 4
- 1 box DeCecco bucatini pasta: ONLY use ½ of the box
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 cup Silk brand dairy-free heavy cream
- 1 lemon, juiced AND grated (set grated rind aside)
- ½ cup romano cheese, or parmesan, finely grated
- 1 cup starchy pasta water
- ¼ cup walnuts, chopped
- fresh basil for serving
If you’re adding asparagus and shrimp, cook them separately. Saute together in a little garlic and olive oil over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes. Set aside.
Cook the pasta al dente, which basically means if it says it takes 10 minutes to cook, only cook it for 7 and a half or 8 minutes. And yes, this is important. Reserve 1 cup pasta water then drain pasta but DO NOT RINSE. Set aside.
Combine egg yolk, cream, cheese, lemon juice and most of the grated lemon rind. Use a whisk to stir. This should be pretty thick. Place pasta into a large pan over medium heat. Add the lemon “sauce”, stir for about 30 seconds, then add ½ cup pasta water and combine everything. If you need more, add more. This shouldn’t take longer than 1 minute. OPTIONAL: stir in shrimp and asparagus. Plate with a sprinkling of lemon rind and walnuts and a little cheese if you’d like. Enjoy!
DISCLAIMER: Our recipes are just that, ours. Some are modified versions of dishes we’ve had elsewhere or old-favorites that contained animal proteins that we replaced with plant-based options, while others are a concentrated effort of trial and error. But all are intended to be altered by you and made to suit your tastes. So if you want more garlic or none at all, go for it. You do you ; ) Now for the serious part … periodically this site does offer health, nutrition and exercise information. The information provided is not intended as medical advice and is for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for medical advice given by a licensed physician or other health-care professional. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, consult your physician and never delay obtaining medical or health related advice from your health-care professional because of something you may have read on this site. The use of any information provided on this site is solely at your own risk.
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