Easy 20-Minute Pasta al Limón Recipe Will Brighten Up Your Day by Chef Gigi

Easy 20-Minute Pasta al Limón 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 limon recipe! Guanciale, pancetta or slab bacon adds a richness to this dish, while the lemon adds freshness. 

All you need to make this pasta al limón recipe is olive oil, guanciale, shallots, garlic, pasta, black pepper, freshly grated Parmesan cheese, egg yolks, lemon and fresh basil, for garnish. Be sure to review my master class on making pasta carbonara before you begin. This refreshing 20-minute lemon pasta dinner is a keeper. 

Serve this lemon pasta with a salad and homemade salad dressing like my green goddess salad dressing recipe.

Note: 30Seconds is a participant in the Amazon affiliate advertising program and this post contains affiliate links, which means we may earn a commission or fees if you make a purchase via those links.

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

Helpful Products

Recipe Notes

  • Can't find guanciale? Use bacon, prosciutto, ham or pancetta.
  • If you want a vegetarian pasta, omit the meat and use olive oil to cook the shallots and garlic.

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.

Recipe cooking times and servings are approximate. To ensure image quality, we may occasionally use stock photography. Need to convert cooking and baking measurements? Here are some kitchen conversion charts. Here's how to submit your recipes to 30Seconds.

Take 30 seconds and join the 30Seconds community, and follow us on Facebook to get recipes in your newsfeed daily.

Related Products on Amazon We Think You May Like:

30Second Mobile, Inc. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Large Pots
Large Pots $10 & Up
Olive Oil
Olive Oil $4 & Up
Pasta $1 & Up
Large Skillets
Large Skillets $10 & Up

Creamy Lemon Chicken Alfredo Pasta Recipe Will Make Your Taste Buds Happy

20-Minute Creamy Pasta Carbonara Recipe With Crispy Bacon

Classic Pasta Carbonara Recipe: A Master Class on How to Make Pasta Carbonara From a Chef

15-Minute Cacio e Pepe Recipe Tastes Like It's Straight Outta Rome

Elisa Schmitz
OMG, this is like my dream dinner. So delicious, Chef Gigi Gaggero, 30Seconds.com Resident Chef !
Chef Gigi
We all have lemons! The world needs more Lemonade, here's mine!!
That looks amazing.
Chef Gigi
I hope you try it. Lemons are so refreshing!

join discussion

Please login to comment.

recommended tips

3-Ingredient Cheesecake Recipe: This Sweet, Simple Cheesecake Filling Is Creamy Goodness

Moist Carrot Oatmeal Muffin Bites Recipe: A Tasty Gluten-free Breakfast or Snack

3-Ingredient Lemon Pie Recipe: This Creamy Lemon Pie Is No Joke

3-Ingredient Cherry Sorbet Recipe Is the Best Thing You'll Eat All Week