20-Minute Pasta al Limone Recipe: Quick & Tasty Lemony Carbonara Recipe Will Brighten Up Your Day by Chef Gigi Gaggero, Host of KSCU 103.3 FM LIVE Food Talk Radio S.F. Bay Area

Pasta Dinner
a month ago
20-Minute Pasta al Limone Recipe: Quick & Tasty Lemony Carbonara Recipe Will Brighten Up Your Day

Lemon is a deliciously acidic flavor that cuts through fat, which makes it the perfect match for carbonara’s salty richness. You're gonna love this easy pasta al limone recipe! 

Be sure to review my master class on making pasta carbonara before you begin. This refreshing pasta dinner is a keeper.

Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 ounces guanciale (salt-cured pork jowl), pancetta (Italian bacon), or slab bacon, thinly sliced, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 pound bucatini or other long-strand pasta
  • 3 ounces grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
  • 3 large egg yolks, beaten
  • 1 large lemon, zested and juiced
  • fresh basil, for garnish

Here's how to make it: 

  1. Set a large pot of lightly salted water on the stove to boil.
  2. While waiting for the pasta water to boil, heat the oil in a very large skillet over medium heat. Cook guanciale, tossing often, until browned and crisp, 6 to 8 minutes. 
  3. Add shallots and garlic, cook until translucent, about 4 to 5 minutes. Be careful not to burn the garlic. Add cracked pepper and stir, just until fragrant, about an additional minute. Set aside.
  4. Meanwhile, undercook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally. Cook just under al dente, about 4 to 5 minutes below the package's suggested cooking time. Drain, reserving 1 1/2 cups pasta cooking liquid.
  5. Add pasta to the skillet along with 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid and a big pinch of Parmesan. Toss to coat. Remove skillet from heat and add egg yolks. Toss again, adding more pasta cooking liquid as needed, until a smooth glossy sauce coats pasta. 
  6. Add the grated lemon zest, lemon juice and more Parmesan. Toss to coat, adding more pasta cooking liquid if needed to loosen the sauce. Divide pasta among bowls. Top with lemon zest, more Parmesan and chopped basil.

Need help converting cooking and baking measurements? Here are some handy kitchen conversion charts.

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