Creamy Lemon Pasta


Chef Andrew Zimmern mimics the sweet, fragrant lemons of Italy's Amalfi Coast with Meyer lemons in this beautifully bright and creamy pasta. The dish originated at L'Antica Trattoria in Sorrento, where lemon juice is tossed with just-cooked pasta until absorbed. Supremes of lemon add a juicy, tart pop that cuts through the cream in the sauce.

Creamy Lemon Pasta
Photo: Victor Protasio
Active Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
20 mins


  • 4 quart water

  • 2 tablespoon plus 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon Meyer lemon zest

  • 1 teaspoon honey

  • 3 medium shallots, minced (about 1/2 cup)

  • 1 cup heavy cream

  • 1 pound dried fettuccine

  • 2 tablespoon fresh Meyer lemon juice

  • 3 ounces grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (about 3/4 cup)

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, for garnish

  • 1/3 cup Meyer lemon supremes, for garnish


  1. Bring 4 quarts water to a rapid boil in a large pot, and season with 2 tablespoons kosher salt.

  2. Meanwhile, heat oil and lemon zest in a large skillet over medium. Add remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt, honey, and shallots, and cook until shallots are softened and oil is hot, about 5 minutes. Whisk in cream. Let simmer 2 minutes.

  3. Cook pasta in the boiling water until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking liquid; drain. Add lemon juice to noodles; toss well to combine. The pasta will absorb the juice.

  4. Stir cheese and 1/4 cup reserved cooking liquid into skillet with cream sauce. Add pasta, and toss to coat well. Add remaining 1/4 cup reserved cooking liquid if necessary. Divide among 4 bowls, and garnish with pepper and Meyer lemon supremes.

Suggested Pairing

Bright, citrusy Campanian white.

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