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Linguine with Lemon Garlic Sauce

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homemade linguine with lemon garlic sauce topped with grated parmesan and chopped parsley on a plate with a fork

Classic Italian linguine al limone, but make it even speedier and more weeknight-friendly—say hello to our ready-in-10-minutes linguine with lemon and garlic.

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Bright, Savory and Ready in 10! Meet the Best Linguine Recipe Ever!

Speed is the word of the day. Our creamy linguine sauce recipe is delicious, yes—and we love it for being delicious, we wouldn’t make it if it weren’t delicious!—but it’s also great because of its speed. If you’ve had a DAY at work, or school, or wherever, this fast, garlicky lemon linguine is here for you. A cozy, creamy, bright and comforting bowl of saucy linguine sunshine can be yours in no time, with very little effort and very few dishes. Heck no, it is not a balanced meal. It’s a bowl of straight-up simple carbs. And you’re going to cover it with a dusting of Parmesan cheese and dig right into that simple carb comfort and you’re not going to worry about it. Instead, you’re going to just say “mmmmmmmmm” and enjoy the fact that you (and this recipe) just saved the day.

linguine, salt, garlic, lemon zest and juice, parsley, red pepper flakes, butter and olive oil for homemade linguine

Linguine 101: What Is Linguine Anyway?

We love all noodles—truly, all noodles—but we seem to reach for linguine more often than any other type of noodle. It’s a bit more toothsome than spaghetti or angel hair, a bit less than fettuccine. It’s swirly and twirly and simple sauces like this lemony linguine sauce cling to it in a way that we adore. But what is linguine, exactly? What makes linguine linguine? According to the (very wonderful) Oxford Companion to Italian Food, linguine falls into the category of “ribbon pasta” shapes, along with other favorites like tagliatelle and fettuccine. All of these ribbon pastas fall under the broader category—one that includes long, circular pastas like spaghetti and long, tubular pastas like bucatini—of “pasta lunga” meaning “extruded long pastas”. in other words, linguine is just one of the many, delightful long pastas that require you to swirl them and twirl them onto your fork AKA the most fun kind of pasta.

garlic, parsley, lemon zest, red pepper flakes and sea salt in a bowl for homemade linguine with lemon garlic sauce
warmed butter and olive oil being poured in a bowl with garlic, parsley, lemon zest, red pepper flakes and sea salt

Lovely Linguine Noodles in Lemon, Butter & Garlic. Oooooooo Yeah.

It may not be the most famous culinary holy trinity—that’s onions, peppers and celery, of course—but to us, the combination of zingy, fragrant lemons, the sharpness of garlic and the creamy, fatty richness of butter is a culinary trinity worth celebrating. This simple, fast linguine recipe is bursting with those wonderful flavors. All of the things that come together to make it so deeply satisfying and rich and delicious are such staples—lemons, garlic, butter, salt, oil, pasta—make it almost like a recipe that has no ingredients list. Of course, there is a list of ingredients, it’s just that you’ve already got them—you’ve probably always got them. They’re such must-have kitchen things that you don’t even think about whether you need them or not. You’d never run out of them! You’re at the store—you grab pasta. You grab lemons. You’ve always got salt and olive oil. And, if you’ve been making our recipes for any amount of time, you’ve probably gotten to the point of always having garlic around, right? OK, OK. You’ve waited long enough. Here’s what you’ll need to make this lemon pasta recipe:

  • Linguine

  • Salt

  • Garlic

  • Lemons

  • Fresh parsley

  • Red pepper flakes

  • Salt

  • Butter

  • Extra-virgin olive oil

  • Lemons

garlic, parsley, lemon zest, red pepper flakes, salt, butter and olive oil in a bowl for linguine with lemon garlic sauce
homemade linguine with lemon garlic sauce made with lemon, garlic, parsley, butter, olive oil and red pepper flakes

How to Make the Best Linguine Sauce in 10 Minutes Flat

By the time the table is set, dinner will be served. Here’s how to make dinnertime pasta magic:

  1. Get your pasta water over high heat STAT! It'll take about 10 minutes to come to a boil, which is longer than the rest of the recipe will take. YAY.

  2. When the water is at a good rolling boil, drop in the pasta. Do what the package says to do if you want "al dente" pasta (with a bit of ‘bite’ remaining). Usually it'll take about 8-9 minutes to cook the pasta.

  3. In that 8-9 minutes, make the lemon-garlic-butter sauce! First, stir together the garlic, lemon zest, fresh parsley, salt and red pepper flakes. Then melt the oil and butter together. Then mix the oil-butter into the lemony garlic stuff.

Toss it all together! When the pasta is perfectly al dente, toss it—along with a scoop of pasta water—with the sauce. Then grab a fork and dig in!

homemade linguine with lemon garlic sauce topped with grated parmesan and chopped parsley on a plate with a fork
homemade linguine with lemon garlic sauce topped with grated parmesan and chopped parsley on a plate with a fork

Leap if you Love Lemon Linguine!

Lemons are a go-to ingredient for us—an often unsung hero of every home cook’s kitchen. We reach for them constantly, right? Salad dressings, roast chicken—heck, even our favorite cakes are lemony. In this easy linguine sauce recipe, they finally play the starring role. And we love it so much. We hope you love this easy pasta as much as we do. Give it a spin and let us know how it goes! Share a photo and tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper so that we can see your stuff! Happy eating!

Linguine with Lemon Garlic Sauce

March 27, 2022

  • Serves:2
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 15 min
  • Calories:812

Ingredients

  • 10 ounces linguine
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest, from 1 lemon
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1-2 teaspoons red pepper flakes, depending on spice level you want to achieve
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 to 2 lemons)
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving (optional)

Method

  1. Fill a large pot with 4 quarts of water and add 1 tablespoon of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add the linguine and cook until al dente, according to the package instructions. Drain, reserving ½ cup of the pasta cooking water.

  2. Meanwhile, in a large heat-resistant bowl, combine the garlic, parsley, lemon zest, red pepper flakes, and the remaining 1 teaspoon salt.

  3. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the olive oil and butter. Once the butter is bubbling, pour it over the garlic and herb mixture. Stir to combine.

  4. Add pasta to the bowl along with the lemon juice and the reserved pasta cooking water. Use tongs to toss the pasta until it’s fully coated and well mixed.

  5. Serve immediately, topped with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories812
  • Protein17 g
  • Carbohydrates106 g
  • Total Fat34 g
  • Dietary Fiber5 g
  • Cholesterol30 mg
  • Sodium655 mg
  • Total Sugars6 g

Questions & Reviews

Avg: 5