Inspired by pasta al limone, this lemon pasta brings arugula to the mix for an easy and brightly flavored 30-minute dinner.

Close up of bowl of Pasta al Limone with arugula.

Brighten up your pasta with lemons.

This pasta can be enjoyed all year long, but we especially love it in the dead of winter when citrus is in season and we need a zesty pick-me-up. This recipe is inspired by the classic pasta al limone. And yes, it’s as lemony and luscious as it sounds. This recipe takes less than 30 minutes to throw together which makes it ideal for weeknights or a simple yet elegant date night in. Pasta al Limone doesn’t include arugula, but since arugula and lemon work so well together, I thought it would make a nice addition. Plus, it’s always nice to throw in a healthy dose of greens. When it comes to choosing a pasta type, I recommend sticking with long pastas like spaghetti, linguini, or bucatini—which is what I used here.

The gist on making Lemon Pasta With Arugula.

Heat lightly salted water in a large pot, bringing it to a boil. Add the pasta to the boiling water, and cook it as per the package instructions. While the pasta boils, rub the halves of your smashed garlic generously over the bottom and sides of your chosen serving bowl. This will coat the bowl with a nice garlicky flavor. When done, trash the garlic cloves. Add the freshly squeezed lemon juice to the bowl, then slowly drizzle extra virgin olive oil into the lemon juice with a steady stream while whisking. Keep whisking until the oil and juice have emulsified. While still whisking, add a pinch of salt and half of the lemon zest. When the pasta is cooked, drain it and set it aside. Add the cheese to the serving boil with the lemony oil, crack a good amount of pepper over the cheese, and transfer the cooked noodles to the bowl. Toss the pasta around with tongs to evenly coat. Add the fresh arugula, and give everything another quick toss. Grate some extra cheese over the pasta prior to serving, and add the rest of the lemon zest and more cracked black pepper. Then serve!

Bowl of bucatini pasta.

Bucatini pasta being tossed in lemon oil and cheese.

Pasta al Limone piled in a bowl with arugula, whirled around a fork.

Recipe tips + tricks.

  1. Instead of arugula, you could toss ribboned spinach in with the pasta. You could also get creative and add chopped sautéed broccolini or asparagus.

Other quick pasta recipes you’ll enjoy:

Hope you enjoy!

If you plan on making this recipe, be sure to snap a pic and tag us on Insta! @killing__thyme.

Get the Recipe:

Lemon Pasta With Arugula {Pasta al Limone}

Inspired by pasta al limone, this lemon pasta brings arugula to the mix for an easy and brightly flavored 30-minute dinner.
5 from 5 votes

Ingredients

  • 1 lb spaghetti or long noodles (if using bucatini, go for a 12 oz package)
  • 1 garlic clove, lightly smashed and halved (don't chop it!)
  • Zest of two large lemons
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice from two large lemons
  • 5 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher or sea salt, to taste
  • A generous amount of cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup finely grated parmagiano or pecorino romano, plus more for garnish
  • 1 handful arugula

Instructions 

  • Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to the package's instructions.
  • While the pasta boils, choose a large bowl for serving. You'll be using this bowl to toss the pasta as well. Take the halves of your lightly smashed garlic and rub the garlic over the bottom and sides of the plate to coat it with flavor. Once the bowl is nicely coated with garlicky goodness, discard the garlic.
  • Add the freshly squeezed lemon juice; gradually drizzle the extra virgin olive oil into the lemon juice with a slow and steady stream while whisking. Continue to whisk until the the oil and juice have emulsified. Whisk in a pinch of salt and half of the lemon zest.
  • Drain the pasta when it's done and set aside. Add the cheese to the serving bowl with the oil and lemon, crack a generous amount of black pepper over the cheese, and place the hot noodles over the cheese. Carefully but thoroughly toss the pasta around the cheese and sauce with tongs until evenly coated. Add the arugula, and give the pasta one more toss.
  • Grate some extra cheese over the pasta before serving, as well as the remainder of the lemon zest, and some more cracked black pepper. Serve immediately.
Lemon Pasta With Arugula {Pasta al Limone}