When it’s too late to run to the store and your pantry is limited on ingredients, a warm, home-cooked meal is still possible with One Pot Pasta with Lemon Garlic Butter Sauce. With only five ingredients and one pot involved, dinner can be on the table in 20 minutes or less!
On evenings when you just want to whip up a quick dinner that involves few ingredients and minimal clean up, One Pot Pasta with Lemon Garlic Butter Sauce will get dinner on the table quickly and easily. With only five ingredients and one pot involved, dinner can be on the table in under 20 minutes!The combination of lemon and garlic has withstood the test of time. From Ina Garten’s Lemon Chicken to restaurant style chicken piccata, lemon and garlic are magical together and just belong together. Throw in some pasta and you have yourself a winning dish!Ready for the best part? With one simple trick, you can make the pasta dish as lite or as creamy as you’d like, without any dairy!
How to Make One Pot Pasta with Lemon Garlic Butter Sauce
Start by cooking the pasta according to package instructions in a large pot. The instructions on the packaging I’ve seen have always included the time for al dente pasta. In my opinion, that time always results in overcooked pasta.Here’s my pro-tip for perfect al dente pasta every time: Cook the pasta for 2 minutes LESS than what the package instructions say. I’ve been cooking pasta like this for years and it comes out perfectly every single time – not overcooked and has a slight bite in the center.This trick works for most pastas. The only time it hasn’t worked for me was with rotelle/rotini and large shells (the kind you use for filling). With rotelle/rotini and large shells, I’ll shave off about 3 to 4 minutes. So if the cooking instructions say 10 minutes, I’ll start tasting the pasta at 6 minutes. The pasta should be slightly firm and soft without falling apart.Before draining the cooked pasta, reserve some pasta water. Then drain the rest.To the now empty pot, heat butter and olive oil over medium heat until the butter has melted.
Add minced garlic and stir until fragrant. This shouldn’t take longer than 30 seconds. Make sure not to cook the garlic for too long. You don’t want it to brown or burn.Next, add fresh lemon juice and some of the reserved pasta water. Add back the drained pasta and toss to coat.Now comes my trick for creamy pasta.Pasta water! While the pasta is cooking, starch from the pasta leeches into the cooking water. That cooking water has the power to adjust the consistency of dishes and add some extra flavor! It is like liquid gold, so don’t throw it out!Even when I use jarred pasta sauce, I’ll use a little bit of pasta water to swirl around the remaining sauce in the jar before adding it to the dish.Add more of the remaining pasta water if you like a saucier and creamier consistency. Or, hold back if you like a lighter consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper and garnish with fresh parsley.