Lemon and Cream Spaghetti


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves

    4 to 6

Appears in



By Todd Porter

Published 2013

  • About

When we dine in New York, our dear friend Jennifer Perillo is our trusted guide to some of the most incredible Italian food in the city. During one dinner at a restaurant, she introduced us to the most simple yet wonderful spaghetti dishes we’ve ever tasted. We embarrassed ourselves by inhaling one of the dishes so fast you’d think we’d never eaten pasta before: perfectly cooked spaghetti laced with bright, floral notes of lemon and prepared in a light cream sauce. From the first to the very last bite, we marveled at how such a simple dish could be so unforgettably delicious. We’ve created our own version so that we can enjoy it at home. With four lemon trees in our garden, we’re always prepared to indulge in this beloved pasta dish.


  • ½ pound (225g) dry spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • ½ cup (120ml) dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest, or more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, or more to taste
  • ½ cup (50g) freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano, or more to taste, plus extra for serving



  1. Fill a large pot with water, salt it well, and bring the water to a boil. Cook the spaghetti according to the package directions, or until al dente.
  2. When the pasta is halfway cooked, begin making the sauce: In a sauté pan large enough to later hold the pasta, whisk together the oil, cream, and wine. Over medium–high heat, bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, whisking occasionally.
  3. Drain the pasta and add it to the sauté pan. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, and cheese and toss well. Taste for seasoning and add a touch more lemon or cheese, if desired.
  4. Serve on warm plates with additional cheese on the side.