Pasta pronto

Pasta makes a fairly regular appearance at my place for meals, but I do tend to get bored with tomato-based pasta sauces. This weeks’ recipe offers an alternative, it is also extremely quick and easy to make.

I have a lemon addiction, and can’t seem to cram enough lemon zestiness into my recipes. I know that this may not be to everybody’s taste, so feel free to start off conservatively and skip using the zest, only using the juice. If I am using just the juice of a lemon for something, I still tend to zest the rind before juicing, and freeze the zest in a small container for later – it is handy to have on standby to add to drinks or use as a garnish for dishes. I do have a zester gadget that produces long strips of zest, or you can use your humble grater [the fine grater section] to remove the rind. Only use the yellow part of the skin, as this is where the flavour is, avoid using the bitter white pith underneath.

Feel free to experiment with different types of herbs, adding some prawns, fresh diced tomato or grated zucchini to create your own twists on this base recipe.

It is up to you if you want to use fresh pasta or pasta from the pantry for this recipe – any sort of pasta will work well, but I like using spaghetti for this recipe.

Pasta Pronto

Serves 2


  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 heaped teaspoons capers [drained if in brine, or washed, if the salted variety]
  • 3 anchovy filets, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 1 chilli, finely chopped [remove seeds if you don’t want it too spicy]
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon [if this is too lemony for you, use just the juice]
  • ½ a bunch of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of thyme leaves [lemon thyme is even better if you can find it]
  • 2 serves of pasta
  • Parmesan cheese, to taste


  1. Place a large pot of salted water on to boil for the pasta.
  2. In a saucepan heat the olive oil over low heat, and add the anchovies, garlic, chilli and capers.
  3. Add the pasta to your boiling water and cook according to the pasta instructions.
  4. Cook the oil mix until the garlic is light brown and has infused the oil, then turn off the heat. Add the lemon zest and juice and chopped parsley to the saucepan and leave to the side until the pasta is ready.
  5. Before draining your cooked pasta, reserve a cup of the cooking water in case you want to thin out the sauce later on.
  6. Drain the pasta and add to the infused oil mixture, stir to coat pasta in the sauce. Add some of the cooking water if there is not enough sauce to coat the pasta.
  7. Transfer to bowls and add parmesan cheese to taste. Enjoy.

What favourite pasta recipes do you like to make on a regular basis? Has this post inspired any new ideas?



Filed under Lemon, Pasta, Recipes, Savoury, Seafood

10 responses to “Pasta pronto

  1. Neroli

    Sound delicious!

  2. Jen

    would definitely add some green prawns as suggested by you then probably omit parmesan & add a little chopped dill. Would you suggest cooking the green prawns at the first stage?

    • Adding some raw or green prawns when you add the garlic etc in step 2 is a good idea, just be careful not to overcook the prawns – dill works well with seafood.
      You could also try experimenting with pancetta cubes, adding with the garlic etc in step 2 and cooking until crispy.

  3. Hello there, You have done an incredible job. I will certainly digg it and personally suggest to my friends. I am confident they’ll be benefited from this web site.

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