Spaghetti with Lemon, Garlic and Thyme

Southern Kitchen

Serves: 4 to 6

Hands On Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes


1 pound spaghetti

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

10 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Juice and zest of 4 lemons

2/3 cup white wine

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon dried thyme

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Cook the spaghetti until just al dente, or one minute less than the package directions. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta cooking water.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until golden and fragrant, but without browning, about 1 minute. Add the red pepper flakes and cook until aromatic, 15 seconds. Stir in the wine and lemon juice, increase the heat to medium-high and let simmer until thickened and reduced by half. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 

Stir in the butter, along with 2 tablespoons of the reserved pasta cooking water. When the butter is melted, turn off the heat and add the cooked pasta, Parmesan and lemon zest. Toss to coat evenly with the sauce. Stir in the thyme. If the sauce seems too thick, add more pasta water, one tablespoon at a time. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

About the recipe

Whip up this fragrant dish, thanks to just the right amount of lemon, garlic, and herbs, as a quick and easy addition to any meal.