Sunday Pasta®: Spaghetti al Limone (Lemon)

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Sunday Pasta Spaghetti al Limone

Starchitects Brian Bockman and Jack Forbes were recently visiting from New Orleans. There, they design hip Garden District homes and contemplate building a bright future with Brangelina in a thriving post-Katrina city. Here, among other things, they taught me about the hidden evil that lurks in FF&A (furnishings, fixtures and accessories) which, if you have any taste, should cost more than the home itself. Who knew?

Jack was recently in Rome where he tried spaghetti al limone, and hence this was his request for Sunday Pasta at chez Garrubbo.

Below is the recipe, which I’ve done many times before. This week, however, I decided that measuring is for amateurs and went heavy on the lemon zest (a mistake) and used vodka instead of grappa (a mistake) and just dumped in the cheese (a mistake). Yes, it still tasted good, but the lesson here is that when dealing with bold flavors, bright colors, and big personalities, it’s better to measure and proceed with caution.

Buon Appetito!

Ed Garrubbo

Check out our wine pairings that complement Spaghetti al Limone.

Sunday Pasta®: Spaghetti al Limone

Total Time: 30 minutes

Serves: 4-6

Sunday Pasta<sup>®</sup>: Spaghetti al Limone


1 pound spaghetti
2 lemons
1 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup grappa or 1 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup parmigiano
Salt and pepper to taste


Make zest from one lemon (by finely grating the peel) and set aside. Juice two lemons, with pulp. In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook the grappa (or wine) with the butter and lemon juice and 1/2 of the zest. When slightly reduced, add the cream, and salt and pepper, then cook until further reduced (3-5) minutes on low heat. Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti until al dente, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water.

Drain the pasta and add to the pan with with the lemon cream sauce. Mix in the Parmigiano, adding a little of the reserved cooking water only if it seems too dry. Serve with a sprinkle of the remaining zest for garnish over each bowl.

Edwin Garrubbo

Edwin Garrubbo

Ed Garrubbo has been studying, cooking, searching for, and thinking about la cucina italiana for as long as he can remember. He cooks a wide range of Italian dishes, but loves his pasta most. He visits restaurants, cooking schools, markets, and food artisans across Italy, and wherever Italians practice their craft. He is a member of the Accademia Italiana della Cucina, and is a citizen of both the United States and Italy.

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