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Linguine al Limone

Shutterstock / paulinarz
Cook Time:
20 mins
Prep Time:
10 mins


  • 1 (16-ounce) package dry linguine
  • kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 4 lemon leaves, washed and patted dry
  • 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 lemons, halved
  • 3 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano, divided

Chef notes

This recipe requires minimal ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry. It's fresh, bright and a total crowd pleaser.

Technique tip: Salt the pasta water like a heavily seasoned soup, not like the ocean; reserve pasta water for the sauce.

Swap option: Feel free to use spaghetti or any other noodle in place of linguine. 



In a heavy bottom pot on high heat, bring water to a boil. Once the water is at a boil, season the water with salt and add the linguine, stirring with a fork or tongs to ensure it doesn't stick together.


While the pasta cooks, prepare the sauce. In a wide skillet set over medium-low heat, add the oil and garlic, sautéing for 1 minute. Crumple the lemon leaves in your hands to expose the oils and add them to the pan, along with the butter and red pepper flakes. Toast until the garlic is golden and the butter is frothy, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the lemon leaves and reserve. 


Ladle 1 cup of the pasta water into the pan and simmer for about 2 minutes. 


Once the pasta is cooked, reserve 1 to 2 cups of the water and strain the pasta through a colander. Transfer the pasta to the pan, turn up the heat to medium-high and toss to combine.


Add the parsley and continue to mix vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes until the sauce looks glossy.


Squeeze in the juice of 1½ lemons and toss to combine.


Sprinkle in half of the Parmigiano Reggiano and toss to combine. If the pasta looks dry, add a splash of the reserved pasta water. Taste and adjust with more lemon juice or salt, as needed.


Garnish with the remaining Parmigiano Reggiano and the lemon leaves. Serve immediately.