Lemon + Pasta

I am happy to say that I get to cook for a man who will try just about any food… almost nothing is “off the table” in terms of ingredients.

Funny enough though, this recipe for Lemon Spaghetti just happened to hit two of his very few food qualms… olive oil-based pasta sauce (he prefers red or cream sauces) AND lemon

Yes, you heard right, LEMON! While he likes it in desserts, he doesn’t like lemon-infused savory dishes…. and YES, he does try them before giving this opinion 🙂

Now, I really LOVE lemon anything… but I don’t usually make or choose recipes with a lot of lemon because of my husband’s preference. After all, I have very few limitations in terms of what food I can make, so I figure I can acquiesce to this anti-lemon thing.

When it came to choosing “L” for A to Z it was difficult to decide whether or not I should go for the “Lemon” or do something else. I decided to see it as an opportunity to try out some lemon recipes I’ve been eyeing for a while. I thought maybe I could convince my husband that lemon was DELICIOUS, AMAZING, MOUTH-WATERING!!!!….

I did not succeed.

Nonetheless, he was a trooper and tried all the lemon recipes… both sweet and savory… even if they were not all up his alley. When I made Garlic-Lemon Chicken the lemon flavor was definitely there but not too strong so he was okay with it. In the case of Lemon Spaghetti this was not the case… it was too lemony for his taste. My girls and I, on the other hand, LOVED it!!!

And if you like lemon you’ll love it too! Not only because of its flavor but because of its simplicity.

In fact, I felt totally comfortable writing this longer-than-normal intro to the recipe because it is SO short and simple that it will hardly take up any of your time to read…


While I can’t add this recipe to my “David-approved” list, it is DEFINITELY on mine!

Here’s what you need:


Just boil some water and cook some regular or whole-wheat spaghetti.

In the meantime, mix some extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice, and freshly grated parmesan cheese in a LARGE serving bowl…

Season it up with some salt and pepper… and WHISK it all together!

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Add the cooked, drained pasta to the mixture…


Give it a good toss and add in 1/4 cup (or more if you like) reserved pasta water to thicken it a bit (the starch from the pasta water will help do this and will help the sauce STICK to the pasta!)


Toss in chopped basil, lemon zest, and more parmesan cheese…



You can garnish the top with more basil, zest, and parmesan if you like. Serve it with some cheesy bread, a salad, and/or some grilled chicken and you’ve got a MEAL!



You’re looking at just $1.23 per serving for the pasta and it makes a LOT!!

I even used a wedge of parmesan and grated it myself and the cost was still only $1.69 per serving! If you used a really nice parmesan (like Parmigiano Reggiano for instance), the recipe might run you up to $2.00 per serving or slightly more… even this isn’t too bad! I love Parmigiano Reggiano and love to spring for it from time to time… it really makes a difference in whatever recipe you use it in… if you’ve never tried it, YOU SHOULD!!

It’s one of my favorite ingredients… there’s a reason it’s expensive… YUM

Just keep in mind the cost of your salad, protein, or other foods you might add to this dish to make it a meal. That would bump up your price per serving a bit, too so don’t forget to take that into account when buying your cheese!

Click HERE for the recipe!

Happy Economical Eating!

Love, Jenna

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