With mercury levels rising, it’s getting really difficult to be in the kitchen for longer hours. Whether you’re feeling drained to cook, or if you have very little time in hands, this lemon butter garlic pasta is a savior. With a handful of ingredients and really less cooking time, this lemon butter garlic pasta has been a regular at my home this lockdown. Needless to say, it’s super simple to make, and tastes refreshing and delicious.
This lemon butter garlic pasta is simple to make, but it is essential to follow the little techniques that make this recipe stand out. I have explained it in detail in my video. These techniques matter a lot in getting the recipe right and make it taste like gourmet Italian food. For such a simple recipe, it is absolutely essential that you pick the choicest of ingredients. For instance, make sure you use high quality olive oil and go for a good brand of spaghetti. The amount of cheese required in this recipe is not too much, but if you do use cheese, Parmesan is the best option. I did not have any Parmesan since we are in lockdown, so I went ahead with just a touch of cheddar. But please use Parmesan if you have it.
Tips To Make This Lemon Butter Garlic Pasta Taste Gourmet
Here are a few tips you should follow to make sure you make that perfect plate of spaghetti for yourself.
Cook spaghetti as per package instructions till al dente
For this recipe, we cook the spaghetti first and once it’s almost done, we start making the lemon butter garlic sauce and mix them together in the last step. First tip is to make sure you buy good quality spaghetti. I personally love Borges that we get in India (not sponsored) because it really holds its shape and also tastes smooth. Del Monte also has some good range of spaghetti that you can try (not sponsored).
The idea is to cook the spaghetti till its al dente, or has that perfect bite. Each brand of pasta has its own cooking instrcutions, so make sure you follow them when you cook the spaghetti, and you will be good to go.
Add salt to pasta water
This little hack will elevate the level of your pasta from average to excellent! There is no bigger heartbreak than biting into pasta that has all the flavours in the sauce, but really a bland bite in those spaghetti strands. Sounds like a nightmare to me! It’s important to add a lot of salt to the water in which you boil the pasta because you do not want your spaghetti to be bland. In order for the soaghetti strands to absorb the flavour of the salt, it needs to cook in water that is almost as saline as sea water. This is because it does not absorb all of it, but just enough to flavour the spaghetti throughout. Adding salt in the water you boil the spaghetti in is the only time you will flavour the spaghetti so this step cannot be missed.
Pasta water makes all the difference
Have you ever wondered how restaurants get that perfect glaze over every strand of spaghetti that you order? While olive oil and butter play a major role, chefs also add a magic potion in the end while tossing the pasta. It’s the reserved pasta water. Reserved pasta water is nothing but the water in which you boil your pasta. This pasta water absorbs a lot of starch from the dry pasta and the addition of salt in it also helps flavour the final pasta sauce. So make sure you save two to three ladles of that starchy, saline and boiling pasta water to add that extra dose of magic to your dish.
Keep flame at low for the sauce
The sauce for the lemon butter garlic pasta is super basic and uses just a few ingredients. To get the most out of the sauce, it’s important to cook it at optimal temperatures. The flame should be kept at low throughout the process of making the pasta sauce as it’s very easy to burn the subtle ingredients or the oil. The flavour of the garlic needs to get infused into the butter gradually. The sauce is cooked till it turns a little brown and toasty, without any hint of burn. That’s when you know you have the perfect browned butter sauce with garlic and lime.
Preparation time – 15 minutes
Cook time – 30 minutes
Serves – 3
- 300 g dried spaghetti
- 3 tbsp finely chopped garlic
- 1 tsp chili flakes
- 1 tbsp lemon/lime zest
- 2 tbsp lemon/lime juice
- 3 tbsp butter
- 6-7 fresh Italian basil leaves
- 2 tbsp fresh cilantro
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Grated Parmesan cheese for garnish
- Salt to taste
- Fill a pot with water. Let it come to a boil. Add a tablespoon of salt and mix. Add the spaghetti and cook as per package instructions.
- Save two to three ladles of the pasta water.
- Once the pasta is almost done, cook the sauce simultaneously.
- Heat butter and olive oil in a skillet. Keep the flame at low. Before it heats up, add the finely chopped garlic. Give it a light mix, allowing the garlic to sweat. The oil should get infused with the aroma and flavours of the garlic. Let it stay like that for two to three minutes till the butter acquires a brown colour.
- Add the chili flakes and lemon zest.
- Drain the pasta and add it to the skillet. Add a ladle of the reserved pasta water (or as required). Keep the flame at low.
- Give the pasta a good toss. Garnish with fresh Italian basil leaves and cilantro (optional).
- Serve on a plate. Grate some cheese on top. Garnish with more basil. Serve immediately.
I do hope you try this pasta recipe.