This one pan lemon pasta is totally customizable to your family’s taste. And because the whole dish is made in just one pan, that’s right, one pan it’s super simple and comes together in less than 30 minutes. And you probably already have all the ingredients on hand.
I discovered the inspiration for this recipe one afternoon when I knew I wanted to have pasta and had a ton of lemons on hand. Now, I don’t remember exactly where the original recipe came from, but I’ve changed and adapted this so many times it almost doesn’t matter.
I’ve made this at least once a month since discovering it.
So why is this dish so awesome?
Simple ingredients, quick cook time and one pan/pot. Need I say more.
There are two simple hacks that I learned in making this dish.
The first is that you can cook pasta in water that becomes the sauce. No draining of pasta here. You add the pasta to the “flavored water” and the pasta absorbs the water and flavors (here it’s lemon and basil) as it cooks. I am working on a few other recipes that use this method of cooking because it is a huge time saver as well as really cutting down on clean up. And the husband really appreciates that!
The second hack is the frozen cube of goodness. It’s one of my new favorite tricks for getting a delicious dinner on the table fast. And one that makes this dish even more exciting and customizable.
These frozen cube of goodness are herbs and garlic, that are crushed and frozen and ready to go at a moments notice.
There are two brands of these that I have been using, Gefen and Dorot, but they do exactly the same thing. These cubes defrost in your dish as your are cooking and add something that dried herbs just can’t, in my opinion.
When you don’t feel like smelling like garlic, grating ginger, mincing onions or pureeing basil, these are a GREAT alternative.
I’ve found them at my local grocery store and Trader Joe’s, so you should be able to get them at your local grocery pretty easily. I keep them in my freezer at all times and they are really great!
For today’s pasta dish I used the garlic and the basil, but have also made this without the basil, with onion, double garlic etc. Use any herbs you like rosemary, oregano, etc.
Now that we’ve come into summer and have basil in the garden, I will also add some fresh basil into this recipe, but I usually like to save my basil for making pesto. But a few leaves chopped up do make a nice garnish (if you have time for that sort of thing).
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One Pan Lemon, Basil, Garlic Pasta
- 1 16 oz box of spaghetti
- 1/4 cup of butter 1/2 stick
- 2 cubes frozen garlic can use fresh garlic minced about 1 Tablespoon
- 1 cube frozen basil
- 2 lemons zested and juiced
- 4 cups of water
- 3/4 cups Parmesan cheese shredded or grated finely!
- If using fresh garlic, cook in 2 Tablespoons of the butter for less than a minute until you can smell it cooking. If using frozen garlic cube you can skip this step.
- Add water, pasta, butter, frozen garlic, frozen basil, lemon juice and zest, salt and pepper to the pan.
- Bring to a rapid boil
- Once rapidly boiling, reduce heat to medium (should still be boiling gently) and cook until water is almost completely evaporated. Stir frequently to prevent sticking
- If pasta is not quite cooked and water is nearly gone, add a bit more hot water to the pan (I start at 1/4 cup).
- Once pasta is cooked through and small bit of water remains, turn off the heat and add the Parmesan cheese and the fresh basil (if you are using).
- Serve immediately with another sprinkle of cheese, spritz of lemon and turn of black pepper (or whatever you like)