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Pasta with Fresh Lemons and Basil

This exquisite lemon pasta is prepared by lightly sautéing the garlic in a good quality olive oil with the fragrant zest of a lemon. It is an easy first course dish to prepare, especially in the summer.  What makes this dish distinct is that the juice of one lemon is added to the boiling pasta water to enhance the flavor of the pasta.  Additionally, some of lemon flavored pasta water can be used as an ingredient and added to the sauce, how frugal!! Chef Alba 
4.41 from 5 votes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian, Mediterranean
Servings 4 people


  • 1 pound long pasta Secolari recommends Pappardelle's Lemon Chive Pasta
  • 2 large organic lemons zest of 2, juice of 2, separated
  • 4-5 tbsp Secolari Basil Olive Oil Secolari Lemon olive oil, or any extra virgin
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic thinly sliced
  • 10-12 fresh basil leaves chiffonade or roughly torn
  • 1 to taste Secolari Roasted Garlic Sea Salt
  • 1 to taste black pepper
  • 1 to taste red pepper flakes


  • Heat a 5-6 quarts pot of water with 2 tablespoons kosher salt and bring to a boil. Add the pasta to the boiling water, stir vigorously for the first minute so the pasta will not stick. Cook the pasta according to package instructions or until al dente. Zest 1 lemon, place in small bowl, and reserve. About half way into the pasta cooking process, squeeze in the juice of 1 lemon. This will flavor the pasta and pasta water. Before straining, reserve 1 cup of hot pasta water for later use if needed.
  • Zest the second lemon in to the small bowl.
  • In a large saute pan add the olive oil, garlic slices, zest of 2 lemons, roasted garlic sea salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Warm on low heat for 3-4 minutes until garlic is slightly golden and fragrant.
  • When the pasta is ready, strain and transfer to the skillet with the sauce. Squeeze the juice of remaining lemon; add the fresh basil, and black pepper. If the pasta sauce appears to be a little dry, add a little of the reserved lemon pasta water. Toss well to coat the pasta and more basil if desired and serve warm.
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