How to make pasta with lemon and butter and pistachios

This recipe is a marvel of simplicity. The sauce is basically three ingredients — lemon, butter and cheese, plus seasoning and pasta. Voilà.

Most any pasta shape will work. Although I prefer fresh pasta with this recipe as I find it better absorbs the starchy pasta water and lemon juice. I used potato gnocchi as I had some in my fridge.

The pistachios are also just for flare. You could certainly do without.

Pasta with lemon and butter and pistachios

Serves 2

  • 1 or 2 lemons, zest and juice
  • 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • Salt and Black pepper
  • Parmesan cheese
  • A handful of chopped pistachios
  • Pasta (I used gnocchi but almost any pasta will work. I especially like it with fresh pasta. Use about 125 grams per person.)
  1. Add the lemon juice to the water you will cook the pasta in.
  2. Cook the pasta.
  3. When the pasta is almost done cooking, melt the butter in a skillet with the lemon zest and a pinch of salt.
  4. When the butter starts to foam, add the cooked pasta and toss.
  5. Add a handful of grated parmesan and toss over medium-high heat for about 30 seconds.
  6. Plate and top with more parmesan, black pepper, and the pistachios.


  1. This pasta looks interesting. What is it called. I want to make it.

    1. Author

      The pasta in the picture is gnocchi. But you could put the lemon, butter, and pistachio combination on almost any pasta. I like it with linguini too.

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