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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.
4.41 from 5 votes
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Author: Dana Sandonato


  • 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


  • 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.