This simple pasta recipe has bold lemony flavor. It's nice with a salad for a light supper or serve it along with seared fish, shrimp or chicken. Vary it as you please--add a bit of crumbled goat cheese, chopped rinsed capers, shelled edamame or thin strips of yellow bell pepper.

EatingWell Test Kitchen
Source: EatingWell Magazine, January/February 2012


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water until just tender or according to package directions. Reserve 1 1/2 cups of the cooking liquid and drain the pasta in a colander.

  • Meanwhile, finely grate 1 tablespoon zest (see Tip) and squeeze 1/4 cup juice from the 2 lemons; set the juice aside. Pat leek slices dry. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the leek, the lemon zest, 1/4 cup parsley, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the leek is lightly browned and softened, about 6 minutes.

  • Add the pasta, 1 cup of the reserved cooking liquid, the reserved lemon juice and the remaining 1/4 cup parsley to the pan. Cook, stirring constantly, until the liquid is mostly absorbed, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add the remaining 1/2 cup liquid, if desired. Remove from the heat. Discard the garlic. Toss the pasta with 1/2 cup Parmesan and 2 tablespoons chives. Transfer to a serving bowl or bowls; sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan and 2 tablespoons chives and serve with lemon wedges, if desired.


Tip: When we call for citrus zest (i.e., 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest) we are referring to the finely grated outer rind (not including the white pith) of the citrus fruit. Use a microplane grater or the smallest holes of a box grater to grate the zest. In some cases we call for long strips or threads of zest. To get long strips, peel the citrus with a vegetable peeler. To remove long threads, use a 5-hole citrus zester or remove long strips of zest with a vegetable peeler, then use a knife to cut into very thin strips.

Nutrition Facts

313.2 calories; protein 13.3g 27% DV; carbohydrates 49.7g 16% DV; exchange other carbs 3.5; dietary fiber 7.8g 31% DV; sugars 3.5g; fat 8.7g 13% DV; saturated fat 3g 15% DV; cholesterol 12.9mg 4% DV; vitamin a iu 1281.5IU 26% DV; vitamin c 22.2mg 37% DV; folate 65.3mcg 16% DV; calcium 180.2mg 18% DV; iron 3.1mg 17% DV; magnesium 98.7mg 35% DV; potassium 258.5mg 7% DV; sodium 429.5mg 17% DV; thiamin 0.3mg 31% DV.

Reviews (10)

Read More Reviews
10 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 5
  • 4 star values: 3
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
I love lemon and this pasta was very good. So easy to make and enjoyed the lighter texture of the whole wheat linguine. Think I might use two leeks next time and omit the parsley. Made and reviewed for the Alphabet Recipe Tag Game. Read More
Rating: 2 stars
Tasteless I don't know why! Ended up adding twice the garlic. We were disappointed the recipe sounded so appealing. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Good mood This dish was delicious and light. We made it with salmon which we put in the oven right when we started to boil the water for the pasta. By the time the pasta veggies were done the salmon was ready. The lemon added a lot of brightness and even lightened our mood! Pros: bright light healthy delicious Cons: NONE Read More
Rating: 3 stars
Missing Something This dish was missing something but I am not sure what. It was a nice fresh flavor but I think it needs a vegetable perhaps spinach or mushrooms. I paired this with naked Veggie Chicken cutlets (Quorn) which made a nice meal. It takes a lot of lemons to make a tablespoon of zest 4 or so. Which I didn't like since you are only using 2 Lemons for the recipe. Pros: Fresh flavor Cons: Zest was very labor intensive Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Absolute delight! Love! Tangy lemon cheesy pasta. Yes!! Had to purchase a 12 oz box of pasta but didn't use all. Also used a bunch of green onions instead of the leek & chose to keep my garlic in rather than remove. Delish. Cannot wait to belly up to my bowl! Pros: Quick & light Cons: Couldn't find 8oz box of wheat pasta Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Great with fish Made this as described and added this strips of yellow pepper. It was delicious with marinated frozen salmon steaks I bought at Costco. Will make for a ladies' luncheon soon. Pros: Easy and versatile Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Loved this pasta! I didn't have any chives but it turned out great anyway. Nice fresh flavor from the lemons and is a really light pasta dish - will be perfect in the summer. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
really tasty unique flavor the flavor was amazing! loved the bold lemon flavor! I was skeptical about this recipe but it really turned out great. The only thing I didn't like was the acid in the lemon made the Parmesan coagulate so the texture was a little funny but flavor was amazing. Also don't over cook the leeks otherwise they get mushy and lose some of their flavor. Pros: different Cons: the parmesan coagulated Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Bold Lemon Flavor I loved the bold unique taste of this pasta dish. I used 12 oz. of fettuccine and there was plenty of sauce and flavor to accompany the additional noodles. Goes great with fish! Pros: Very flavorful Goes great with fish Different Cons: Takes awhile to prepare Read More
Rating: 4 stars
extremely flavourful Lemon taste really compliments the mild leek flavourand the sauce that the cooking water thickens just enough that I used the full 1.5 cups. Of course I used all the parmesan Pros: worth the time to prepare Cons: does not make enough so we had double portions Read More