This creamy Lemon Parmesan Pasta recipe is a quick and simple pasta dish! Tender cooked pasta tossed in a slightly spicy, lemon, garlic and parmesan cream sauce. Serves 2 mains or as 4 sides in about 25 minutes or less.
On snowy days, I want nothing more that a bowlful of pasta.
Lower Michigan is currently getting hammered with up to 8 to 10 inches of snow over the next 24 hours or so. It’s beautiful looking at it from the comfort of my kitchen table and it’s days like this that I’m reminded how thankful I am to work from home. My husband headed into work before the snow was falling and I know he will be working late, working on a main break and then helping the townships road department plowing snow. With that said, it most likely will be dinner for one tonight.
Which gives me the excuse to make this ridiculously easy 8-ingredient pasta dish! A simple garlicky cream sauce is brightened up with lemon zest and juice with a touch of heat from red pepper flakes and lots of parmesan cheese.
Best served with your favorite white wine and torn crusty bread for a deliciously cozy pasta dish!
To Make This Creamy Lemon Parmesan Past You Will Need:
- olive oil
- yellow onion
- red pepper flakes
- lemon zest and juice
- heavy cream
- parmesan cheese
Bring a pot of salted water to boil. I do about a palmful of fine sea salt. Don’t skip this step, it really does flavor the pasta!
Once boiling, add in 8 ounces of pasta and cook following the package directions. I’m using gemelli, but any pasta of a similar size will work.
Meanwhile, in a 10-inch skillet, add 2 teaspoons olive oil with 2 tablespoons butter and heat over medium-low.
To the melted butter and oil, measure and add 1/2 a yellow onion (or 1 shallot) that is finely diced, 3 cloves minced fresh garlic and a pinch of kosher salt. Stir and sauté until soft and translucent.
Once the onions are soft, add in 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes and the zest of 1 lemon. Personally, I think 1 teaspoon is the perfect amount of heat, but feel free to reduce the amount for less spice.
Then pour in the juice of 1 lemon or about 3 to 4 tablespoons.
Stir and pour in 1/2 heavy cream.
Stir to combine. Simmer over medium-low to low heat while waiting on the pasta to finish cooking.
Reserve 1 cup of pasta water before draining the cooked pasta.
Add the cooked pasta to the sauce.
Along with 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese.
Toss to combine. Add a few splashes of pasta water to thin or loosen up the sauce as needed.
Taste and season with salt as desired.
Divide into shallow bowls topped with more parmesan cheese, minced parsley and prepare to fall in love!
To bulk up this meal, serve with a salad, add protein such as cooked chicken.
Lemon Parmesan Pasta
- 8 ounces gemelli pasta, plus palmful of sea salt for water
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup yellow onion, finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic (large), minced
- 1 pinch kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest, about 1 good size lemon
- 3 to 4 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed (about 1 lemon)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated, plus more for serving
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
- Bring a pot of salted water to boil. I do about a palmful of fine sea salt. Once boiling, add in pasta and cook following the package directions.Reserve 1 cup of pasta water before draining the cooked pasta.
- Meanwhile, in a 10-inch skillet, add olive oil with unsalted butter and heat over medium-low.
- Once melted, add the onion, garlic and a pinch of kosher salt. Stir and sauté until soft and translucent.
- when the onions are soft, add in red pepper flakes and lemon zest.
- Next pour in the lemon juice and stir while pouring in the heavy cream. Simmer over medium-low to low heat while waiting on the pasta to finish cooking.
- Add the cooked pasta and grate in the parmesan cheese. Toss to combine. Taste and season with more salt if desired.
- Add a few splashes of pasta water to thin or loosen up the sauce as needed. Serve immediately.
- Serve in shallow bowls topped with more parmesan cheese and minced parsley.
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