Cooking from scratch can get a bad rap for being time intensive. The truth is that it takes longer to cook a meal from scratch than prep one that is premade, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend hours in the kitchen. The secret to managing your time to create delicious dishes, like my olive oil pasta sauce w/lemon & herbs, is all about balance.
In this case, I’m not talking about balancing flavors and ingredients. I’m referring to balancing the level of effort required to make a dish. With this pasta dish, I’m taking the time to make fresh fettuccine from scratch, but I’m pairing it with a sauce that requires zero cooking.
This sauce is beautifully simple! It combines fresh lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil. Fresh parsley and chives brighten up the flavor, and crushed red pepper adds a lightly spicy kick.
What makes this olive oil pasta sauce so delicious?
The key to this sauce is to use the best quality ingredients you can afford. Since the sauce is so simple, each flavor really stands out so using high-quality ingredients is important.
Personally, I steer clear of most extra virgin olive oils you can find in a standard supermarket. Instead, I keep a bottle of well crafted, authentic extra virgin olive oil in my pantry. Brightland Awake is one of my favorites, and perfectly complements the lemon and herbs in this dish.
Salting your Pasta Water
This dish has two sources for salt: pasta water and parmesan cheese. Salt your pasta water liberally! It should taste salty like the sea; this will ensure your fresh pasta is well seasoned and the flavor stands out.
Parmesan cheese will add an extra boost of salt to the sauce above what you get from the pasta. I didn’t add any additional salt to the sauce, but if you feel like it’s needed, I suggest only adding a small pinch.
There is something special about fresh pasta. It is filled with flavor and has a wonderful texture. It’s the perfect complement to this simple olive oil sauce!
I love making my own fresh fettuccine; it takes about 40 minutes of active involvement and it’s well worth the effort. If you don’t want to make your own, fresh fettuccine is typically available in your local market. If you are in a pinch, you can use dried pasta, but this sauce works best with fresh.
This dish brings together the best of everything good in cooking! Fresh ingredients, scratch-made food, and easy, no-hassle prep! Try out his recipe for your next quick dinner and let me know what you think in the comments!
Check out these appetizers, drinks, and desserts to make alongside this pasta
- Parmesan Peppercorn Salad Dressing
- Squash Blossoms with Herbed Ricotta
- Slow Roasted Tomatoes with Calabrian Chili Oil
- Cherry Lime Mojito
- Blueberry Lemonade
- Strawberry Ice Cream
- Strawberry Basil Ice Pops
- Lemon & Blueberry Cupcakes
Olive Oil Pasta Sauce w/Lemon, Herbs & Parmesan is a quick dinner idea packed with flavor! Fresh fettuccine, extra virgin olive oil, lemon, and fresh herbs come together in under 10 minutes.
- 12 oz fresh fettuccine
- ⅓ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Juice from ½ lemon
- 2 tbsp chopped parsley
- 2 tbsp finely chopped chives
- ¼ tsp crushed red pepper
- ¼ cup grated parmesan
- Kosher salt for seasoning pasta water
- Set a large pot of water on the stove to boil. Once boiling, generously salt the water. *See note.
- Cook pasta according to package instructions.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl (large enough to toss the pasta), whisk together the lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil to combine. Whisk in parsley, chives, and crushed red pepper.
- When the pasta is al dente, drain and reserve 2-3 tablespoons of pasta water.
- Using tongs, add the pasta to the bowl with the lemon, oil, and herbs; toss to coat, while sprinkling in the Parmesan cheese. Add 1-2 tablespoons of pasta water to thin the sauce, if desired.
- Serve immediately, garnishing with additional Parmesan or fresh herbs.
- This is your only opportunity to season the pasta, so add enough salt to your pasta water for it to taste salty like the sea. The amount of salt will vary based on the size of your pot and the amount of water used.
- Category: Pasta
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: Fresh fettuccine, Brightland Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Parmesan cheese, simple dinner recipe, dinner for two, parsley, chives, herbs, easy pasta sauce, Olive Oil Pasta Sauce