I spent the first thirty years of my life as a meat and potatoes girl. I can make potatoes into more sides than you can imagine, and I viewed pasta as an occasional side dish. Then I married into an Italian family. Now I get what you’re thinking, Italians eat potatoes; on the whole, you would be correct. But I married an Italian man who is potato averse…which means my standard side dish staple of potatoes needed to get removed from my recipe arsenal.
These days, we eat pasta about three times per week. While I started off focusing on Italian dishes, we’ve branched out to use pasta in Asian and Mexican themed dishes as well. It’s a safe bet for anyone in our family, and since it’s always well stocked in my pantry, it also gets used a lot for experimenting and nights when I need to throw together something quick.
This lemon butter pasta came about on a camping trip when we stayed an extra day, and I was trying to come up with a meal based on what I had left in my supplies. It’s about as simple as you can get, using just three simple ingredients as the base with the option to add in a few extras like freshly chopped herbs or cheeses if you want to give it some variation. Personally, I love to toss in a handful of Reggiano cheese and a handful of freshly chopped basil.
It pairs amazingly well with grilled chicken or pan seared scallops, but it also does well with a simple tossed salad and steamed broccoli.
- 1 pound linguine (or your favorite pasta shape)
- ⅔ c butter
- ⅓ c freshly squeezed lemon juice
- salt and pepper to taste
- Cook pasta according to directions on the box.
- While pasta is cooking, roll your lemons on the counter to soften them up, then juice them and remove the seeds. I usually use one large lemon or two smaller lemons.
- When pasta is finished cooking, pour it into a colander to drain.
- Immediately add the butter to the hot pan, putting it back on the heat to melt. (Keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn.)
- Once butter has melted, turn off the heat and toss the pasta back into the pan. Add the lemon juice and a few shakes of salt and pepper and stir to coat.