Lemon pasta

After the excesses and complexities of Easter, here is something very straightforward. Spaghetti al limone is another deliciously simple recipe from the first River Café Cookbook (see slow-cooked lamb shanks), easy to rustle up from limited ingredients. It makes a great starter for an Italian meal or a quick supper dish, served with a tomato salad. 

Serves 4-6 


250g spaghetti
Salt and pepper
3 unwaxed lemons
150ml olive oil
150g freshly grated parmesan
2 handfuls fresh basil


Cook the spaghetti in a generous amount of boiling salted water, reserve a cupful of the cooking liquid, then drain thoroughly and return to the pan.

Meanwhile, scrape the zest off one of the lemons (in strips if you have a zester), then juice all three lemons. Beat the zest and juice with the olive oil, pepper and salt, then stir in the parmesan until thick and creamy: the cheese will ‘melt’ into the mixture. 

Add the sauce to the spaghetti, and shake the pan so that each strand is coated with the cheese. Loosen with some of the reserved cooking liquid if necessary. Finally, stir in the chopped basil and serve.

Published by motherrach

Alongside this blog, which records tried and tested family favourites, I’m documenting on Instagram (mother_rach_cooks) my efforts in repertoire expansion.

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