Spaghetti al Limone

Spaghetti al Limone

Being a Manhattan-based millennial, I am often faced with a decision when developing a pasta-based recipe: Do I want to use a box of Barilla, or do I wanted to pull out my spiralizer and twirl a zucchini?

I will happily declare my love for spiralizing fruits and vegetables. I am a fan girl of Inspiralized; been following that blog since 2014! It’s a nice way to eat your vegetables in a different manner; I honestly do not enjoy cubed or sliced vegetables nearly as much anymore when I can twirl curly sweet potato “noodles” around my fork.

That being said, some things shouldn’t be messed with. Spaghetti al Limone is a sacred dish. When it comes to this recipe, I go FULL CARB. Flour. Wheat. GLUTEN. Sweet, delicious, allegedly inflammatory gluten! This ain’t no place for a zoodle, in my oh – so – humble opinion.

(And if / when I make a zoodle-based Spahgetti al Limone recipe months or years from now, feel free to call me out. Ha!)

Spaghetti al Limone

When I lived in the Hudson Heights section of Manhattan for 4+ years, I was blessed because I lived one block away from one of the best Italian restaurants in the whole city: Saggio. Their Spaghetti al Limone is the best I’ve ever had! In fact, it’s theirs that caused me to discover this wonderful recipe in the first place! Theirs is cream-based and served with an entire half of lemon on the side. Amazing!


Though I’ve attempted a cream-based version, I do enjoy my cream-less version. It takes less time, it’s still insanely flavorful, and it saves me from spending $4 on a bottle of heavy cream that I’ll only use half of, leaving the rest of slowly die in my fridge for 2 months. Haaaa.


Spaghetti al Limone
(Makes 2 main-sized servings or 3 – 4 side servings)


– 8 – 10 ounces spaghetti, uncooked
– 2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese, finely grated
– Juice of two lemons
– 2/3 cups olive oil
– Zest of one lemon
– 1 cup fresh basil, chiffonade-cut
– 1/4 cup reserved pasta water
– Salt, to taste

Before We Get Started…

– It is preferable to grate the cheese so it is fine (powdery) rather than shredded. Either manner of grating will work, but Parmesan that is shredded tends to clump up more when mixed with the pasta. Finely grated cheese will yield a smoother consistency.

– Eat this dish as soon as you make it. It does NOT make for good leftovers. Trust me. I tried. 😉


1.) In a large saucepan, cook spaghetti until it is al dente, approximately 8 minutes. Before draining, remove 1/4 cup of pasta water and set aside. Drain, toss with a drizzle of olive oil, and set aside.

2.) In a large bowl, combine lemon juice, olive oil, and lemon juice. Stir to combine; this lemon cheese mixture will become thick.

3.) Pour lemon cheese mixture onto pasta and toss; add the basil and continue to toss until all ingredients are combined and basil has wilted. If the mixture seems to dry, slowly add reserved pasta water until desired consistency is met. Add salt to taste.

4.) Serve immediately, topped with more basil, parmesan, and / or lemon slices, if desired.


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