This lemon garlic pasta is a super easy dinner that’s ready in under 20 minutes! It’s one of my favorite last minute meals since I always have the ingredients on hand.
However, it seriously doesn’t get any easier than this easy garlic lemon pasta. Right now that’s what I’m craving – simple comfort food that’s ready in minutes. What can I say, the holidays wore me out.
I don’t really buy into the January health craze. This is what I need right now. Lemon, garlic and parmesan are like the holy trinity of comfort food. These three ingredients create a perfect harmony of flavors.
This cheesy lemon parmesan pasta can be on the table in less than 20 minutes. What more can you ask for? Try serving it with a light white wine (I personally love New Zealand sauvignon blanc).
How to Make Garlic Parmesan Noodles
This recipe couldn’t be easier! Here’s what you do:
- Cook the pasta according to package instructions. Before draining, reserve 1 cup of the starchy pasta water (it will help bring the sauce together).
- While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a skillet and cook the garlic for a couple minutes.
- In a large bowl, toss together the remaining ingredients, cooked garlic, and finished pasta, using the reserved pasta water as needed.
- You really want to use higher quality ingredients since the recipe is so basic. Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano is worlds better than pre-grated parmesan cheese sold in the green tube. Also, I strongly recommend grating it with a microplane zester or the finest setting on your box grater. This way it melts into the pasta in the best possible way.
- You’ll never achieve the taste of freshly minced garlic if you try substituting garlic powder (even jarred minced garlic can have a strange aftertaste that you won’t want to chance adding to your dish).
- You always want to use fresh squeezed lemon juice for this type of recipe. Always. Don’t use those squeeze bottles!
- Pasta water is a magic trick with recipes such as this one. If you don’t use it (or are too sparing), you’ll find the final dish too dry and gummy. Adding hot pasta water helps bring the ingredients together for a perfectly blended dish.
Love pasta? Be sure to check out my Cheesy Spinach & Artichoke Pasta and Spaghetti with Parmesan, Pine Nuts and Brown Butter Sauce!
Lemon Garlic Parmesan Pasta
- 16 ounces linguine (or pasta of your choice)
- 1 cup reserved pasta water, see instructions
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2-3 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice, plus more to taste if needed (approximately 1-2 lemons)
- 1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese, plus more for serving (see notes)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste
- kosher salt to taste
- optional: chopped fresh parsley
- Prepare the linguine according to package instructions, using well salted water. Before draining, reserve 1 cup of the pasta water and set aside.
- While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil over medium low heat in a small pan. Add the minced garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Remove from the heat.
- In a large bowl, toss together the pasta, olive oil and garlic, lemon juice, parmesan cheese, black pepper, and 1/4 cup of the pasta water. Add additional pasta water as needed until the ingredients are easy to stir. Taste; add additional black pepper and salt, if needed. (Note: parmesan cheese is salty, so you might not need any).
- Divide into portions and top each serving with extra parmesan cheese and, if using, chopped parsley.
Please read my full post for additional recipe notes, tips, and serving suggestions!
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