This recipe is my go-to quick meal. If you are looking for a pasta dish that has a delicious light cream sauce with a fresh citrus twist, then look no further! I tend to favor light dishes but feeding an Italian man is no easy feat. This pasta dish is heavily favorited in our household because it is filling, yet light all at once! Light some candles and pair this dish with a bottle of chilled white wine and a side of roasted asparagus to complete your ultimate summer date night in!
Creamy Lemon Spaghetti
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 30 mins
Servings: 6-8 Servings (see my tip on this within the “Notes” section below)
- 3 tablespoons chopped garlic
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 3/4 cup whipping cream
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1 cup parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley (If you are not much of a parsley fan, you can do basil!)
- 13.5 oz package spaghetti (Gluten free spaghetti will work great too!)
Start by putting a large pot of salted water on the stove to boil. When it reaches a rolling boil, add in the spaghetti of your choosing and cook according to package directions, but just short of al dente. See my tip on gluten free pasta within the “Notes” section below for an even healthier alternative.
While the pot is heating, and spaghetti is cooking, continue to prepare the sauce. Chop the garlic and place it in a large deep-fry pan over low heat with olive oil. Do not allow the garlic to brown, this will make it bitter. Add the red pepper flakes and black pepper. Slowly sauté the garlic for about 10 minutes, along with the spices.
Next, add the lemon zest and whipping cream. Continue to stir and the flavors will slowly combine, and the sauce will begin to thicken.
When the pasta is done, turn the heat off from the sauce. Add in the lemon juice. Stir to combine, then begin transferring the cooked noodles to the sauce mixing well to combine.
Top the noodles with the shredded parmesan cheese and mix again. Garnish with parsley (or basil).
- Do not be afraid to salt your water for the pasta. If it is salty like the ocean, then you are doing it right.
- Cook your pasta just short of al dente. When the sauce combines with the cooked pasta, it will cook the pasta a bit more.
- In my house, we tend to mix in gluten free pasta every once in a while. From my experience, gluten free pasta does take a tad bit longer to cook (depending on the brand). Just be sure to follow the directions listed on the package.
- Save some of the pasta water (about ¾ cup) to add to the sauce. You will soon find out that I do this to many of my pasta dishes. You will thank me later!
- Save some parsley (or basil – whatever you end up using) to garnish the dish. This dish is too pretty not to garnish!
- If you want to make this dish a little “heavier” I would suggest adding grilled shrimp or chicken.
- Please take note of the serving size! In my house, it is common to get “seconds” and have leftovers, however, adjust to whatever makes sense for you and your family!