This weekend I added pasta with lemon and lavender to our lemon pasta lineup. We’ve been eating our way through the mountain of lemons that my boyfriend brought back from the Amalfi coast. This has meant a lot of lemon-themed pasta dishes. But I’m not complaining. Pasta with lemons is both super easy and super tasty.
I’ve recently made this lemon and pasta recipe with pistachios and this recipe with marjoram. As you’ll probably notice, it’s basically the same recipe as pasta with lemon and butter. But in one I add nuts at the end, and in the other, I add marjoram along with the lemon zest. This lavender recipe is exactly the same. I just switched the marjoram with lavender.
You could do the same with sage or basil or rosemary or maybe a combination of herbs. I love that it’s so easy to be creative in Italian cooking. Once we eat all the lemons, I want to try it with a different citrus. Orange and hazelnuts? Orange and basil?
I like cooking with lavender too. If sage and chamomile had a baby, it would likely taste like lavender. Interestingly, while the soothing flavor of lavender reminds me of chamomile, the two are not related. Chamomile is in the daisy family. Sage and lavender are in the same family along with many other herbs used in cooking, including rosemary, mint, and basil. Food Republic has a post over here with some of the basics about cooking with lavender if you want to learn more.
Lavender has a very strong flavor that holds its own against the lemon zest in this recipe. It’s also a bit lemony itself. Just be careful not to use too much. The parmesan cheese is also essential as its sweetness balances all the sharp lemoniness in the zest and lavender. You’ll see what I mean if you try a taste of the butter with the lemon and lavender before adding the parmesan and then after.
Pasta with lemon and lavender
- 2 lemons, zest and juice
- 1 tablespoon, lavender flowers and leaves, minced
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Parmesan cheese, grated
- Squeeze the lemon juice into the pasta water and bring to a boil and add a handful of coarse salt.
- Cook the pasta.
- Meanwhile, melt the butter with the lemon zest, minced lavender, and a pinch of salt in a large skillet.
- When the pasta is cooked al dente and the butter starts to foam, drain the pasta and add to the skillet with the butter and toss.
- Add a handful of grated parmesan cheese and a small amount of pasta water and toss over medium-high heat until it becomes creamy, about 30 seconds.
- Plate and top with more grated parmesan cheese.