Quick and Easy Brown Butter Whole Lemon Pasta
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This Lemon Pasta is full of bright, rich flavors that marry perfectly with a savory brown butter sauce. It's such a wonderful combination.
Serves: 4
  • 1 lb. Pasta of Choice
  • Kosher Salt, as needed
  • 1 stick Salted Butter
  • ½ cup White Wine
  • 1 medium Lemon, sliced thinly into rounds, seeds removed
  • Fresh Thyme (optional)
  • ½ cup Toasted Pine Nuts
  • 8-10 Fresh Basil Leaves
  • ¼ cup Freshly Grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
  • Red Pepper Flakes, for serving
  • Fresh Italian Parsley, for serving
  1. Cook the pasta in salted, boiling water according to the packaged directions for al dente. I usually subtract a minute or two, as the pasta will continue cooking when transferred to the skillet to marry with the sauce.
  2. Place pine nuts in a large non-stick skillet or cast iron over medium heat. Stir continuously, until the nuts are slightly toasted. Pour onto a plate and set aside.
  3. Turn the heat to medium-high and melt the butter in the same skillet. You want to continue to heat the butter (but not boil it) until little brown bits form and there's a nutty fragrance.
  4. Add a good splash of white wine to the skillet and stir to combine. Make sure to use a wine that you actually enjoy drinking... and go ahead and pour yourself a glass to sip on while you're cooking. ;-)
  5. Thinly slice one lemon, leaving the skin on, into wheels and place them in the butter/wine broth. If you have some on hand, you can also add a sprig of thyme for extra flavor. Simmer until softened, about 5 minutes. Using tongs, transfer the lemon slices onto a plate and set aside.
  6. Just before the pasta is al dente, scoop out about one cup of the boiling liquid and set aside. Drain the pasta in a strainer.
  7. Add the cooked pasta to the butter/wine sauce. Sprinkle in the parmesan and mix together. Toss in the simmered lemons, toasted pine nuts, fresh basil, pasta water and mix to combine. The sauce should be somewhat creamy once you add the reserved pasta water. This is key and makes magic happen.
  8. Season with salt + pepper, to taste. Serve with additional shredded Parmesan cheese, optional red pepper flakes and minced parsley.
Recipe by Slice of Jess at https://sliceofjess.com/quick-and-easy-brown-butter-whole-lemon-pasta/