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I absolutely love spaghetti al limone (spaghetti with lemon). Lighter style pasta dishes—and by lighter I just mean not heavy on the sauce—often let me down because they're either oily or the flavor is weak. This one, however, really packs a punch. In spaghetti al limone, a generous amount of lemon zest and lemon juice creates a lively sauce that often includes chopped basil and Parmesan cheese to round it out.
Lemon has always paired well with chicken, so I knew for sure that chicken would be a terrific addition to this classic dish. Chicken keeps the vibe of the dish light, but its substance elevates pasta al limone into more than just a plate of noodles. For moist, flavorful chicken, I gently simmered chicken breasts in a mix of chicken stock and basil stems.
Once the chicken is cooked and shredded, the rest of the preparation goes quickly. Briefly infuse lemon zest into a mix of cream and reserved pasta water, and then toss with the pasta, chicken, lemon juice, olive oil, basil, and grated Parmesan cheese. That's all there is to it. Make sure to precook your spaghetti to very al dente as it will get warmed through again at the end—and you don't want to end up with soggy strands on your plate. Fresh, tangy, and full of grassy basil, spaghetti al limone with chicken is an ideal pasta choice for an easygoing, warm summer night.
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About the author: Yvonne Ruperti is a food writer, recipe developer, former bakery owner, and author of The Complete Idiot's Guide To Easy Artisan Bread. You can also watch her culinary stylings on the America's Test Kitchen television show. She presently lives in Singapore working on her new baking cookbook, and as a recipe developer for HungryGoWhere Singapore. Check out her blog, shophousecook.com, or follow her on Twitter @yvonneruperti.