Creamy Lemon Fettuccini Alfredo


I was exploring some recipes on the web tonight and decided to combine a few into one perfect, simple alfredo. I hate having to comb through a 20 page online dissertation before finding the recipe though, so here it is!



  • 3/4 c. fresh lemon juice (about 3 lemons) - though I prefer a bit more to cut through the richness
  • 3/4 stick butter 
  • 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 c. heavy cream
  • 2-1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan (divided)
  • 1 lb dry fettuccini (I only had thin spaghetti on hand, so use what you have!)
  • 1 tsp. each of ground black pepper and salt
  • 1 c. pasta water


Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil over high heat. Cook the pasta to al dente, according to package directions, reserving one cup of pasta water before draining. 

While the water is boiling, finely grate the zest of the lemons and set aside.

Quarter one of the lemons, set aside. Juice the other two lemons, set juice aside.

Melt the butter in a large nonstick frying pan over medium/med-high heat. Add the quartered lemon pieces, cut-side down, and sear until both cut sides are caramelized, about 2 minutes per side. Remove the lemon pieces from the pan and juice them into the pan when cool enough to handle. Discard the juiced lemon pieces.

Add the cream to the pan and bring to a simmer. Add the salt, pepper, and half of the Parmesan; whisk to combine; and remove the pan from the heat.

Add the pasta, the remaining Parmesan, reserved lemon juice, and about 1/2 c. of the reserved pasta water to the pan of sauce.

Place the pan over low heat and toss until the cheese is melted, adding more pasta water as needed to reach the desired sauce consistency (the sauce does thicken and get absorbed as it sits).

  1. Remove the pan from the heat and toss in the reserved lemon zest. Taste and season with more salt and pepper as needed. If you choose, garnish with fresh parsley or dill, red pepper flakes, or crispy bacon or guanciale!


Buon appetito!



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