Luscious Amalfi Coast Pasta Recipe with Lemon Sauce

pasta with lemon sauce

This pasta recipe gets a burst of freshness from a bright lemon sauce, perfectly balanced with parmesan cheese and cream.

In Italy, the lemons are the size of watermelons. While that may be a slight exaggeration, some varieties that grown on the west coast of Italy are almost 5 times the size of the lemons grown in citrus-producing states like Florida. Italians take their food, especially their produce, very seriously. And in the region of the Amalfi Coast, lemons are the pride and joy and superstar of many regional dishes. Towns dotted along the seaside cliffs have winding roads and narrow houses and you’ll find lemon trees just about everywhere.

pasta with lemon sauce

This is not a particularly healthy dish because you’re going to use heavy cream and a generous glug of it at that. But the lightness of lemon zest makes the taste feel effortlessly light. It’s a serious treat, something so simple and perfect and worth the extra calories. It’s a delightful dish for summer suppers, alongside a big green salad or roasted asparagus.

pasta with lemon sauce

Luscious Amalfi Coast Pasta Recipe with Lemon Sauce 
Serves 2

2 servings fresh fettuccine or linguini
2 lemons 
½ cup olive oil
⅓ cup heavy cream
⅓ cup grated parmesan cheese
½ teaspoon sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
salt and pepper to taste


This dish moves quickly so make sure you have all ingredients on hand. Bring 6 cups of water to a rolling boil in a large pot. Do this 10-15 minutes before you start the sauce so the water is boiling rapidly by the time the sauce is simmering.

Meanwhile in a small saucepan, heat the olive oil over low heat. Using a small box grater or lemon zester, zest both lemons directly into the hot oil. Add the sugar and salt, turn the heat up to medium-high just for two minutes, then add the cream and parmesan and whisk rapidly together. Turn the heat down to low and simmer for five minutes.

Cook the fresh pasta in the boiling water for 3 minutes then use tongs to transfer the pasta to the sauce. Toss with tongs until completely coated and serve immediately with freshly ground black pepper.

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Photos by Ally-Jane 


Ally Jane Grossan

Ally Jane Grossan is a Brooklyn-based food blogger and editor. Her exotic but easy to follow recipes can be found at