This pasta al limone recipe is quick and easy and has very few ingredients. Lemon, parm and black pepper are the perfect combo with the pasta.
In a large stockpot that holds a generous amount of boiling, well-salted (like the sea, at least 1-2 tablespoons kosher salt) water, cook the pasta until not quite al dente (about 2-3 minutes under box reco).
While pasta is cooking, in a large skillet, over medium-high, heat the olive oil, add the shallots and saute for about 2-3 minutes until getting golden. Add the garlic and saute another 1 minute, until fragrant, add in the Aleppo chili flakes and mix into the oil.
Add the lemon juice and lemon zest to the shallots and garlic mixture, then add the cooked (before al dente stage) pasta (very important: reserve about 2 cups of the cooked pasta water). Add about 1 cup of the reserved pasta water, and butter and toss, toss and toss a little more. Turn heat off and stir in the Parmesan cheese. Toss some more. Season lots of fresh cracked black pepper.
Finally, stir in the chopped parsley or basil and, ideally, some grated lemon zest and a little extra parmesan. If the dish is dry and tight, add some of the reserved pasta water and toss well.
*Spaghetti, bucatini, linguine all work. Fettucine is a bit heavy for this light sauce. Save it for a creamier pasta dish.
** Don’t be afraid of the garlic when it is sliced thin and sautéed for a bit, it does not overpower the dish.
***This lemon juicer is the best tool I’ve found for juicing lemons and limes.
****I use my food processor to grate/grind my parm. Just turn it down and drop 1″ or so chunks down the shoot, then process to get the texture you desire. Using a Microplane is nice to top the pasta, but I find it’s too light to use in a dish.
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