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Photo Credit: Elizabeth Newman

Lemon Spaghetti

One of the easiest pasta dishes you'll ever make, this is great as a light meal or as a side dish, especially for grilled fish. This dish was inspired by a famous pasta in Capri, and it's quickly become a fan favorite both online and in my restaurants - it's the #1 seller at my restaurant, GIADA, in Las Vegas! The secret for this dish is to really let the pasta sit for a few minutes in the lemon mixture, and be sure to add that pasta water.

Lemon Spaghetti
star

Lemon Spaghetti

Prep Time

20 minutes

Cook Time

10 minutes

Calories

817

Author:

Giada De Laurentiis

Image of Lemon Spaghetti

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, whisk the oil, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, 3/4 teaspoon of salt, and ½ teaspoon of pepper to blend. Set the lemon sauce aside. (The sauce can be made up to 8 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before using.)
  2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender but still firm to the bite, about 8 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.
  3. Add the spaghetti to the lemon sauce, and toss with the basil and lemon zest. Toss the pasta with enough reserved cooking liquid, ¼ cup at a time, to moisten. Season the pasta with more salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to bowls and serve.

Nutrition

Nutrition

per serving
Calories
817
Amount/Serving % Daily Value
Carbs
87 grams
Protein
21 grams
Fat
43 grams
Saturated Fat
8 grams
Cholesterol
15 milligrams
Sodium
699 milligrams
Fiber
4 grams
Sugar
4 grams
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nut free
vegetarian

25 reviews & comments

  • Author's avatar image
    Angela

    I found this recipe to have too much salt and lemon. Less is more. I might try it again using 1/2 the lemon and no salt. The cheese has enough.

  • Author's avatar image
    Patricia Garcia
    ★★★★★
    ★★★★★

    I love this pasta dish, exactly as written. I was already making the dish with Shrimp, from a previous recipe, but it's excellent on it's own too.. There are two of us, so I half the sauce ingredients and the pasta, but use a pound of shrimp when I make that one. Aside from the shrimp, the recipe is exactly the same. DELICIOUS!

  • Author's avatar image
    greg thow
    ★★★★★
    ★★★★★

    Can someone explain how this has 43g fat and 817 cals? or is that for all four portions combined?

  • Author's avatar image
    Susan Cataldi
    ★★★★★
    ★★★★★

    I add a Tablespoon of fresh lemon juice & the zest of 1/2 lemon to the water while the pasta is cooking:)

  • Author's avatar image
    Eddy Torres
    ★★★★★
    ★★★★★

    Giada, Your Puerto Rican Husband Loved it! :) lol, jk, xoxo!

  • Author's avatar image
    Melissa G
    ★★★★★
    ★★★★★

    I’m a citrus fanatic…. This did not disappoint. I was out of this world satisfied at the flavor and amazing comfort this dish provides. I could eat it daily!

  • Author's avatar image
    Krista Sobotnik
    ★★★★★
    ★★★★★

    I love this lemon pasta recipe! I have also made it with fusilli pasta and mixed in some ricotta cheese. I also add fresh cracked black pepper. You can also throw in some fresh spinach leaves, and let it wilt with the hot sauce. This is such a comfort food for me. The lemon flavor gets even stronger when you eat it leftover, which I love. If the sauce gets tight, just add some water or broth before or as you reheat.

  • Author's avatar image
    Gwyn Jones
    ★★★★★
    ★★★★★

    Not yet cooked it. Saving that for the weekend. Will add the taste result later. But, golly gosh it sounds just perfect for prawns etc. Grazie mille e tanti auguri di buon compleanno. And from here in Wales "Diolch yn fawr a phen-blwydd hapus iawn

  • Author's avatar image
    Dianne Yohe

    My Italian husband loved it!

  • Author's avatar image
    Kathy Urbano
    ★★★★★
    ★★★★★

    Love this pasta as it is tangy and delicious. It really depends on the lemons here that you juice. If the lemons are super sour then adjusting the other ingredients will balance it out. I like to use one regular Sunkist lemon and then a Meyer lemon that is a bit sweeter. Just my preference and I have used all Sunkist before and it was great. I actually like the recipe as is and would not change the oil amount.

  • Author's avatar image
    Blanche Matulich
    ★★★★★
    ★★★★★

    So delicious and easy!!! I used less oil… am going to try leftovers cold.

  • Author's avatar image
    Regina Dalpra Leibman
    ★★★★★
    ★★★★★

    light and easy! What Capri wine would you suggest? If you use a good evoo and freshly grated parmigiano along with a couple of scoops of pasta water as directed, let it all sit at room temperature and keep whisking, your spaghetti will just absorb all the flavors!! May even pair it with some grilled shrimps next time!

  • Author's avatar image
    Kristen Kelley
    ★★★★★
    ★★★★★

    This is a fast and easy recipe! I paired this with white fish and it was a nice complement – I'm not sure I'd want to eat this for a main course, but it depends on your mood. Goes without saying – you need to be a lemon-lover to like this recipe. Also – I was careful not to use too much EVOO based on other reviews. I did about a 1/4 cup of EVOO and juice from 2 lemons – still was a little too lemony and I should have been more careful with measuring the lemon juice. The grated parm cheese was perfect and the basil gives it a nice kick. I feel like this is the kind of recipe that is good, solid but could also really grow on you where you might have a craving for it ie: late at night. LOL.

  • Author's avatar image
    Cleo de Lima
    ★★★★★
    ★★★★★

    simplesmente deicioso.

  • Author's avatar image
    Sharon Dowdell

    I tried it follow the recipe pasta was slimy wont attempt to cook again.

  • Author's avatar image
    Monica Gallo
    ★★★★★
    ★★★★★

    Usually Giada knocks it out of the park, but this was an oily mess and I only used 1/3 cup EVOO. The cheese was all congealed together- it was just bad. Also, I needed 3 lemons to even get close to the 1/2 cup. I might try this again but with only a couple of tablespoons of oil, less cheese. I added arugula at the end, which was pretty good, so I definitely suggest that! It might even be better chilled with arugula as more of a pasta salad. I hope this helps anyone who wants to try this recipe! I had high hopes…I saw other reviews said the oil was too much as well, so use as you see fit. :)

  • Author's avatar image
    Lindsey Johanson
    ★★★★★
    ★★★★★

    Amazing recipe! Found the key to be adding the pasta water while it's still HOT because it melts the cheese. Love this recipe!!

  • Author's avatar image
    Laura Lastfogel
    ★★★★★
    ★★★★★

    Effortlessly amazing. I have made many lemon pasta dishes and this is by far the most simple. Although I prefer gigli pasta for this, to spaghettii. I also have made this often with red lentil pasta and it is fabulous with non-wheat pasta options. And I always sprinkle pinoli with the ribbons of fresh basil for a wonderful taste profile and heaps of healthful benefits.

  • Author's avatar image
    Sarina Bergman

    I had this at Giada Vegas and it had mascarpone in it. When is that added to the above recipe?

  • Author's avatar image
    Mary Athanatos

    NB … the poached chicken is served on the side with spaghetti, again with loads of lemon juice squeezed over…

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