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Spaghetti al limone

Spaghetti al limone is the kind of dish that just makes you feel good. It's a simple yet elegant Italian classic that's been getting a lot of attention lately. And for good reason! This dish is a burst of tangy flavor that will have your taste buds singing with joy.

The origins of spaghetti al limone can be traced back to the sunny south of Italy, where lemons grow in abundance. And let me tell you, the Italians know how to make the most out of this delicious fruit. The acidity of the lemon juice cuts through the creaminess of the sauce, creating a flavor explosion that's hard to resist.

My favorite recipe for Spaghetti al Limone is from Skye McAlpine's cookbook. I am always a bit worried when I have to cook pasta for more than four people as the timing is critical! As the saying goes in Naples, "people wait for pasta, not the other way around." Overcooked pasta is a cook's nightmare, and cold pasta when it should be hot is not much better. However, this recipe is so simple that even I can prepare it while chatting happily. I make the sauce ahead of time and keep it covered on the stove. While the pasta is cooking, I slice the lemon, gather everyone at the table, and assemble the dish when they are seated so that they can enjoy it while it is still hot, like a bowl of sunshine.


2 lemons

4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

220ml single cream

1 egg yolk

350g spaghetti

A small bunch of thyme Fine sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper


Step 1

Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Meanwhile, finely zest both the lemons and toss the zest into a deep frying pan, then add the olive oil and set it over medium heat. Gently fry the zest for a few minutes until it begins to take on a deep, vibrant yellow color.

Step 2

Now pour in the cream and the egg yolk, mix well with a wooden spoon, then reduce the heat and leave to gently cook for 5–10 minutes, giving it a stir every now and then.

Step 3

Add a generous pinch of salt to the boiling water, and, when it begins to gallop, add the spaghetti and cook until al dente according to the packet instructions. Finely slice one-third of a lemon.

Step 4

When the pasta is cooked, drain in a colander, reserving a little of the cooking water (roughly 1⁄4 cup). Squeeze the juice of the remaining lemons into the sauce, add salt and pepper to taste, then toss the pasta into the frying pan. Add the reserved cooking water, throw in the lemon slices, and toss everything together so the pasta is well covered with sauce. Tear up the thyme sprigs, sprinkle generously over, and serve immediately.

Spaghetti al limone is perfect for any occasion - whether you're hosting a fancy dinner party or just want to whip up a quick and easy meal for yourself. So, go ahead, give it a try. You won't be disappointed.

Recipe ~ Skye McAlpine

Skye McAlpine is an Italian-British cook and author, whose passion for food has captured my heart! Born in Venice and raised in London, Skye's cooking is inspired by the traditional Italian cuisine she grew up with. She authored two cookbooks, “A Table for Friends” and “A table in Venice”, which have both received critical acclaim. With her warm and inviting style, Skye's cooking and writing have become a source of comfort and inspiration for all food lovers!

Olivia Green