The great irony of this website is that a lot of the recipes on here (and this will be a continuing trend) are for things that I cook for myself when I don’t want to cook. This spaghetti dish is as simple as it gets. It’s butter, lemon, white wine and a few herbs, tossed quickly in a pan and plonked on a plate with a bit of cheese on top.
No messing around with boiling pots of sauces for hours or mountains of ingredients; the flavours are focused and subtle and this and variations of this spaghetti amount to about the best pasta I’ve ever eaten.
If you want to keep it simpler (and vegan), you can omit the butter and cheese, use olive oil instead and you will be making pasta the way Italy intended.
Simple food like this is all about seasoning correctly, balancing your sweet and your sour, so make sure you pay attention to your spaghetti’s cooking time and taste as you season!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
- 400g spaghetti
- 10 (approx.) cherry tomatoes
- Half small bunch continental parsley
- Half small bunch fresh oregano (1 tsp dry oregano)
- 1 whole lemon (juice)
- 100g unsalted butter
- 75ml (1/4 cup) white wine
- Half a red onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 large birds eye chilli
- Parmesan cheese (shaved or peeled and then chopped finely)
- Non-stick pan
- Medium saucepan or pot
- Chopping Board
Preparing the Ingredients
- Start by slicing the red onion finely and dicing your garlic.
- Shred up the oregano and parsley until both are fine, put the parsley aside separately as it will go in later.
- Dice up your butter into small cubes and halve the lemon.
- Save cutting the chilli until the end as it will stain the chopping board. If you aren’t keen on the seeds then remove them.
Cooking the Pasta
- Before you do any frying, cook your spaghetti (or other pasta) to your liking. I recommend you taste the spaghetti as you cook it and take it off when it is slightly under how you like it cooked. If you aren’t entirely sure, just cook it according to the packet instructions.
- Strain the spaghetti off and leave it to the side.
- Heat up a non-stick pan and put in half of the butter. Fry the onions and garlic off with the oregano and cook until the red onion starts to go a pale pink colour and get slightly translucent.
- When that happens, add the cherry tomatoes and pour in the white wine and lemon juice, immediately add the spaghetti and toss it in the sauce.
- Finish by adding the chopped parsley and as much salt and pepper as you want.
- You can choose to plate the spaghetti with the cheese on top or you can toss it through with the rest of the ingredients if you want it to be more melted through.
This recipe is something I have cooked for myself countless times. I generally adjust it depending on what I have in the fridge, but the sauce is nearly always the same. Pasta with butter and lemon is one of those things that just works so perfectly that you really can’t go wrong.
If you want to change the herbs up, I would highly recommend basil as an alternative or an addition. Use the smaller leaves and keep them whole and toss them through right at the end. This dish has the makings of a marinara blanco without the seafood, so you could throw in some tiger prawns and pippis for something a little more complex and fancy. After writing that out I think I’m going to have to put a marinara recipe up soon…
As a final note I just want to beg everyone out there to try to eat your pasta al dente. It simply means ‘to the tooth’, not crunchy as hell as some would have you believe, so don’t be scared off.
Trust me here, it gives extra texture that makes the simplest pasta dishes pop!