Linguine al Limone (Lemon)

30 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 1x


  • 2 lemons
  • 1/2 cup grappa or 1 cup dry white wine
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano
  • Salt to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 pound linguine

Which wine do
I pair with this recipe?

Check out our wine pairings to complement this recipe!

Find Out


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. Zest one lemon and set aside the zest. Juice two lemons and discard the pulp.
  3. In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook the grappa (or wine) with the butter, lemon juice, and 1/2 of the zest. When reduced and slightly syrupy, add the cream, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook on low heat until further reduced, about 3-5 minutes.
  4. Cook the spaghetti until al dente (about 2 minutes less than the package directions), drain and reserve 1 cup of the cooking water.
  5. Add the pasta to the pan with the lemon cream sauce, and add some of the reserved pasta water if the sauce seems too dry. When mixed together, place the spaghetti in a warm serving bowl and toss in the Parmigiano.
  6. Garnish with the remaining lemon zest, and serve immediately

Ed's Review

Starchitects Brian Bockman and Jack Forbes were recently visiting from New Orleans. There, they design hip Garden District homes and contemplate building a bright future with Brangelina in a thriving, post-Katrina city. Here, among other things, they taught me about the hidden evil that lurks in FF&A (furnishings, fixtures, and accessories), which, if you have any taste, should cost more than the home itself. Who knew?

Jack was recently in Rome where he tried spaghetti al limone, and thus, this was his request for Sunday Pasta, chez Garrubbo. It seems a quintessential summer dish, even though it really isn’t that light.

Below is the recipe, which I’ve made many times before. This time, however, I decided that measuring is for amateurs and went heavy on the lemon zest (a mistake) and used vodka instead of grappa (a mistake) and just dumped in the cheese (a mistake). Yes, it still tasted good, but the lesson here is that when dealing with bold flavors, bright colors, and big personalities, it’s better to measure and proceed with caution.

Buon Appetito!

Ed Garrubbo

5 thoughts on “Linguine al Limone (Lemon)”

  1. Not bad but I think lemon pasta does better when it’s lighter. For my version, I like to replace butter with extra virgin olive oil, and I remove the cream and white wine entirely, and add garlic, basil, and red chili flakes. I also use way more lemon lol. I’ll use 4 lemons for a pound of pasta. I’ll also use fontinella cheese sometimes instead of Parmigiano reggiano.


Leave a Comment

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star


Guida Garrubbo Book

Garrubbo Guide Book

The Importance of
Eating Italian

The ultimate guide to Italian food, wine, and culture!