5 Ingredients or Fewer

Pasta with Lemon-Parmesan Butter Sauce

August 28, 2012
2 Ratings
  • Serves 4 as a pasta course, 2 as a main
Author Notes

I was walking by a little pizzeria in the East Village—one I've never been to and may never go to—and I slowed my gait to glance at the menu. My eyes happened to land on a pasta dish. I don't remember exactly what it was called, but it involved lemon and parmesan, and not much else. Lemon! So obvious. Why had I never thought of that? The next night I made this for dinner. —Michael Hoffman

What You'll Need
  • 8 ounces pasta, preferably a delicate, flat shape
  • 3 ounces good butter
  • 1 lemon, juiced, zest reserved. You'll only need half a lemon's worth of juice.
  • 1 cup finely grated parmesan
  • salt and pepper
  1. While the pasta boils in well salted water, heat the butter with the lemon zest in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Once the butter has melted and foamed, stir in the half-lemon's worth of juice and season with salt and pepper. Stir and simmer for 30 seconds.
  3. Once the pasta almost tender, transfer it to the skillet using a slotted spoon or similar device. You want a few ounces of water to come along with the pasta. Stir the pasta to incorporate it into the sauce and finish its cooking.
  4. Turn off the heat and stir in 3/4 cup of the parmesan. Check for seasoning. Transfer to warmed bowls and garnish with the remaining parmesan. Serve immediately!

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Piper Foulon
    Piper Foulon
  • inpatskitchen
  • Michael Hoffman
    Michael Hoffman
  • Eileen F
    Eileen F
I used to be a software engineer at Food52. Now I'm just a super fan.

9 Reviews

Piper F. November 22, 2019
This is one of our go-to dinners. I also recommend this asparagus recipe linked below to go with it! We make it with shrimp in the pasta, and it is lovely and light and just so nice in the winter especially. So nice to have fresh flavors like lemon in the winter!
Eileen F. October 19, 2016
I made this tonight with Trader Joe's pappardelle noodles. Delicious! I will definitely make again. So easy, with so few ingredients. I added some garlic with the lemon rind.
sha April 12, 2015
I made this twice because it is so versatile as a main dish or a side. I added some basil and red pepper flakes once and it was delicious and another night I made it with asparagus and it
was fabulous.
Devvon H. October 28, 2013
I'm making this tonight! Will let you know how my family likes it :)
inpatskitchen August 29, 2012
Oh my! A "Genius" recipe if I ever saw one!
Michael H. September 7, 2012
Thank you! If you make it, let me know what you think.
Michael H. September 7, 2012
Thanks! Let me know how it turns out if you make it.
inpatskitchen June 27, 2013
I finally made this the other day and just loved it!! Thanks so much for sharing!!
Michael H. June 28, 2013
Glad you liked it. Thanks for giving it a try!