Spaghetti el limone
22nd September 2011

Spaghetti el limone

By Emma Photography by Emma

This dish is inspired by a recipe of the same name from a River Café cookbook and is one which exemplifies simplicity at its best.  It contains a mere 4 ingredients (pasta not included) which come together perfectly to create a zesty and refreshing summer pasta dish.  It is even better when it is made with fresh pasta so if you’ve never made it before then let this be your opportunity.

This recipe is for Arielle who first introduced me to the River Café all those years ago, sparking my passion for cooking early on.


  • --
  • 100 ml olive oil
  • 100g parmesan
  • 4 lemons, juiced (approx 2/3 cup)
  • 1/2 cup basil leaves, roughly torn
  • S&p
  • 500g fresh egg pasta


  • --
  • 1. Combine all the ingredients and season.
  • 2. Cook the pasta, drain and then toss through the lemon sauce.
  • 3. Serve as is or flake with smoked salmon or trout.


    1. Denise @ TLT - The Little Things

      Love the River Cafe books and this recipe is just a perfect example of their cooking style. I also like to make it with butter instead of the olive oil, but it’s good both ways:)

    2. Emma

      Hi Denise,
      Thank you for your message. The River Cafe cookbooks are some of my favourite and I was lucky enough to have a meal there last year – it was a real dream come true!
      The spaghetti el limone with butter would be delicious too – I might have to give it a go!
      Bon Appetit!

    3. kankana

      This is one of my fav kind of pasta where the sauce is simple and so flavorful. I make this a lot with spaghetti :)

    4. Emma

      Hi Kankana,

      Thank you for your message and for reading our blog! I am glad you too are a fan on spaghetti al limone!

      Bon Appetit!

    5. dianne

      Where are these great River Cafe cook books from? I would love to have one. Maybe my son can pick one up on his trip to NZ this summer. FYI, in the states this would called limone el fettucine – spaghetti being the long, thin round pasta.

    6. Emma

      Hi Dianne,

      Thank you for your message. The River Cafe is a restaurant on the river Thames in London. It has been around for years and has become a bit of an institution so you can find their books in any good bookshop I would imagine.

      You are right – the pasta I used is in fact fettucine! You could also cooked it with spaghetti of course as they did in the original recipe.

      Happy cooking!

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