Homemade Pasta with Lemon, Garlic, and Olive Oil Recipe

Pasta with Lemon, Garlic, and Olive Oil, a dish that zests up the senses with its simplicity and clean flavors, is quintessentially Italian in its respect for high-quality, fresh ingredients. You’re invited to visit us at Italy Today Restaurant through our online portal, italytodayrestaurant.com, where the beauty of Italian cooking is but a click away.

As the head chef of this digital culinary sanctuary, I’m pleased to share not just the steps but the spirit imbued within every dish we treasure. With each recipe, you’re folding back the pages of Italian culinary history, revealing much more than a mere way to satiate hunger—it’s a way to celebrate life.

Envision the brightness of freshly squeezed lemon juice, which awakens the palate, coupled with the fragrant pungency of garlic, one of the cornerstones of our kitchen lore. These two elements, bright and bold, intertwine with the fruitiness of extra virgin olive oil—a golden thread weaving through the dish.

The pasta, perhaps the timeless spaghetti or the tender linguine, offers a canvas for these vibrant strokes of flavor, absorbing the zesty lemon-garlic oil and turning a simple concoction into an extraordinary meal.

We honor these ingredients by letting them shine, allowing the natural aromas and tastes to engage in a delicate dance upon your tongue. A sprinkle of red pepper flakes may introduce a whisper of warmth, while a garnish of fresh parsley breathes life into the plate.

Such a dish reminds us that Italian cuisine is not solely about abundance but about harmony—every component finds its place and purpose on the plate.

To experience the full delight that Pasta with Lemon, Garlic, and Olive Oil brings, I warmly welcome you to our website, italytodayrestaurant.com. There you’ll find a step-by-step guide that will shepherd you through the joyous process of making this light and invigorating pasta right in your own kitchen.

Buon appetito! Let each forkful of this lemon-infused creation elevate your spirits, bringing a slice of Italian sunshine to your table and a reminder that, sometimes, simplicity is the truest form of sophistication.

Pasta with Lemon, Garlic, and Olive Oil Recipe



The dish "Pasta with Lemon, Garlic, and Olive Oil" is a testament to the Italian culinary philosophy of celebrating high-quality, fresh ingredients in simple yet delectable combinations. It showcases the bright zestiness of freshly squeezed lemon juice paired with the aromatic sharpness of fresh garlic, both brought together by the rich, fruity notes of extra virgin olive oil. The chosen pasta, such as the timeless spaghetti or tender linguine, provides the perfect foundation for these vibrant flavors to shine. This meal is an exercise in harmony, where elements like red pepper flakes for warmth and fresh parsley for color are used sparingly to accentuate without overpowering the main ingredients. Each of these is chosen not only for their individual tastes but also for their collective symphony on the plate, embodying the spirit of Italian cooking – where less is often more, and the quality of each element is given the space to stand out. For detailed guidance on creating this refreshing delight, italytodayrestaurant.com offers step-by-step instructions from the experienced head chef of Italy Today Restaurant.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Pasta
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 people
Calories 562 kcal


  • 1 small saucepan


  • 400 g 14 oz pasta like spaghetti or linguine or Tagliatelle
  • 2 lemons
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 8 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 100 g 3.5 oz grated Parmesan
  • Salt and pepper.


  • Finely grate the lemon zest without damaging the white part of the rind, which is bitter. Finely chop the garlic.
  • In a small saucepan, cook garlic in olive oil, when it begins to brown lightly, deglaze with the vinegar then add pepper.
  • Cook the pasta in boiling salted water. Drain but keep about 5 cl (2 oz) of the cooking water.
  • Put the pasta and the 5 cl (2 oz) of the cooking water in a pan, add the garlic cooked in oil and deglazed in vinegar. Add lemon zest and half of the grated Parmesan. Briefly mix everything without taking too long to not cook the pasta. Add more olive oil if it seems a bit dry.
  • Serve pasta and sprinkle with the remaining grated Parmesan.



How to cook Pasta with Lemon, Garlic, and Olive Oil using oven

Garlic Lemon Pasta: The Easiest 20 Minute Meal

  • Preheat the Oven: Set your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius) to preheat.
  • Roast the Garlic: Take whole garlic cloves, drizzle them with olive oil, wrap them in foil, and roast in the oven until they are golden and soft, usually about 30-40 minutes.
  • Prepare the Lemon Oil: While the garlic roasts, mix olive oil with lemon zest and juice from the lemon in an oven-safe dish. You can place this in the oven for a few minutes to warm and infuse the oil with lemon flavor but be careful not to let it reach a simmer or the lemon flavor may turn bitter.
  • Cook the Pasta: Boil a pot of salted water on the stovetop and cook your chosen pasta – thin spaghetti or linguine are excellent choices for this dish – until al dente. Reserve some pasta water and then drain the pasta.
  • Combine Roasted Garlic with Lemon Oil: Once the garlic is roasted, carefully remove the cloves from their skins and mash them into a paste. Combine the mashed garlic with the warmed lemon oil.
  • Toss Pasta with Lemon-Garlic Oil: Transfer the cooked pasta to a large bowl. Pour the lemon-garlic oil over the pasta and toss thoroughly to coat, adding a bit of the reserved pasta water if needed to loosen the sauce.
  • Optional: For a touch of crispness and additional depth, transfer the pasta coated with the oil mixture to an oven-safe baking dish, spread evenly, and bake in the oven for an additional 5-10 minutes, just until the top begins to get slightly crispy.
  • Serve: Serve the pasta hot, topped with extra lemon zest, freshly grated Parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes if you like a bit of heat, and a sprinkle of fresh parsley or basil.

Tips for making about Pasta with Lemon, Garlic, and Olive Oil

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Cooking Tips

  • Leverage Fresh Ingredients: For the best flavor, use fresh lemons and high-quality extra virgin olive oil. As with many Italian dishes, the quality of your ingredients significantly impacts the taste.
  • Garlic Preparation: Slice or mince the garlic thinly to ensure even cooking and distribution throughout the dish. Aim for golden, fragrant garlic but be careful not to burn it as that can introduce bitterness.
  • Zest and Juice Your Lemons: Incorporate both lemon zest and fresh juice to capture the full spectrum of the lemon’s bright character. Be sure to zest the lemons before juicing them.
  • Pasta Choice: The dish works well with both long and short pasta shapes. Spaghetti, linguine, or even a short penne can be excellent, as they provide a good surface for the olive oil and lemon sauce to cling to.
  • Cooking Pasta: Ensure you cook the pasta al dente – tender but with a slight bite – as it will continue to absorb the lemon-garlic olive oil once tossed.
  • Tossing Pasta: Once the pasta is cooked and drained, toss it with the lemon, garlic, and olive oil mixture while it’s still hot, so it absorbs the flavors effectively.
  • Adding Warmth: If you like a touch of heat, include a sprinkle of red pepper flakes to add another layer of flavor.

Serving suggestions

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  • Visual Appeal: Serve the pasta in a warm, shallow bowl or plate to showcase the glossy coating of olive oil and the distribution of garlic and lemon zest. This presentation also helps maintain the temperature of the dish.
  • Garnishing: Garnish with additional lemon zest and a sprinkling of finely chopped fresh parsley or basil to add color and enhance flavor. Fresh herbs provide a refreshing contrast to the zesty lemon and rich olive oil.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil Drizzle: Offer a small cruet of high-quality extra virgin olive oil at the table so guests can drizzle a bit more on their pasta if desired, boosting the fruitiness and aroma of the dish.
  • Bread Pairing: Accompany the pasta with slices of crusty Italian bread or a piece of focaccia. It’s perfect for sopping up the flavorful oil at the bottom of the bowl.
  • Wine Pairing: Suggest a glass of crisp white wine, like Pinot Grigio or Vermentino, to complement the bright and citrusy flavors of the pasta.
  • Cheese Option: While the dish traditionally focuses on the simplicity of its ingredients, offering grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano on the side allows those who enjoy a cheesy note to add it to their taste.

Top 5 FAQs about Pasta with Lemon, Garlic, and Olive Oil

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  • What type of pasta is best suited for Pasta with Lemon, Garlic, and Olive Oil? Thin spaghetti or linguine are excellent choices for this dish as they effectively absorb and carry the light and flavorful lemon-garlic olive oil sauce.
  • Can I add protein to this pasta dish, and if so, what do you recommend? Yes, you can add proteins if desired. Shrimp or chicken can be a great addition to this dish, sautéed in olive oil and seasoned lightly before tossing with the pasta.
  • Is it better to use fresh or bottled lemon juice for this recipe? For the best flavor, it is highly recommended to use fresh lemons. Using both fresh zest and juice will capture the full spectrum of the lemon’s bright character and avoid preservatives and an artificial taste that often come with bottled lemon juice.
  • How can I prevent my garlic from burning when roasting or sautéing it? To prevent burning, ensure the garlic is sliced or minced evenly and watch carefully during cooking. When roasting, wrapping the garlic in foil with olive oil helps to cook it gently and evenly until soft.
  • What are some variations I can make to this basic recipe? You can introduce additional ingredients like red pepper flakes for a spicy kick, capers for a briny note, or fresh herbs such as parsley or basil for added color and freshness. You can also bake the tossed pasta in the oven for a few minutes for a crispy top layer.

In conclusion, Pasta with Lemon, Garlic, and Olive Oil is a bright celebration of Italian cuisine, marvelously simple yet brimming with nuanced flavors. This dish is a homage to the power of fresh, high-quality ingredients coming together to create something far greater than the sum of its parts. The zesty lemon, aromatic garlic, and rich olive oil serve as the cornerstones of a recipe that delights the senses and honors the tradition of elegant simplicity inherent in Italian cooking.

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