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One-pot pasta a limone

LEMON Pasta landscape

Pasta al limone. I can’t think of a plate of food that shines a light on lemon flavour in quite the sameway. Pasta, lemon and Parmesan come together in alchemy to createsomething worthy of any table. I tested out a lot of pasta al limone recipes before I landed here. Some had cream, some had finely chopped lemon but none came close to the creaminess of this one and none was as easy.

The one-pan method (where you cook the pasta and sauce in one pan) was made for pasta al limone. The starchy water it creates is exactly what is needed to thicken the lemony sauce and coat the pasta. I like to keep this pretty simple. I have suggested some basil as an option at the end, but these simple lemony noodles are enough on their own and a true pantry pasta. If you like, you could add some greens or even stir though some warmed cannellini beans.

Under 20 minutes
LEMON Pasta landscape


  • 400g spaghetti or linguine
  • 2 large unwaxed lemons
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled and bashed but kept whole
  • 100ml olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon flaky sea salt
  • 50g salted butter or vegan butter
  • 40g Parmesan (I use a veggie one), grated, or vegan alternative
  • ½ a bunch of basil (15g), leaves picked and torn (optional)
  1. Fill the pasta pan

    Put 400g spaghetti or linguine into a large lidded saucepan. Grate in the zest of 2 large unwaxed lemons and add 1 clove of garlic, peeled and bashed but kept whole, 100ml olive oil and 1 teaspoon flaky sea salt.

  2. Add the water and cook

    Add 1 litre boiling water, cover with a lid and bring to the boil. As soon as it boils, remove the lid and simmer for 8 minutes, using a pair of tongs to turn the pasta in the thickening pasta water every 30 seconds or so as it cooks.

  3. Add the lemon juice

    Once the pasta has had 8 minutes, squeeze in the juice of one of the zested lemons and simmer for a final 2 minutes with the lid off.

  4. Finish the pasta

    Once almost all the water has evaporated, take the pan off the heat, stir in 50g salted butter and 20g grated Parmesan and leave to sit for a minute or two, so the pasta can absorb most of the remaining water and form a lemony sauce. Taste and add more salt, lemon juice and butter or olive oil as needed. Tangle into 4 bowls and finish with the rest of the Parmesan and ½ a bunch of torn basil leaves, if you like.

Additional information

As featured in

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Easy Wins

Award-winning and bestselling cook Anna Jones gives her golden rules for easy wins in the kitchen with super-simple recipes that are bursting with flavour and kind to the planet.

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