Pasta al limone is a quick, tasty, and simple dish. In this vegan version, the pasta is enriched with zucchini (zoodles) and white beans – the healthy version of lemon spaghetti.
Lately, I’ve stumbled across lemon spaghetti every now and then. Whoa, yummy, I thought. I like lemon in my food. As in this Spanakorizo (Greek lemony spinach rice) or in this lemon fennel pasta . Since it is important to me to have “something healthy and fresh” on my plate, pasta with lemon wasn’t perfect enough for me.
At the same time, I felt like finally eating zoodles (spiraled zucchini “noodles”) again – although they are almost “too healthy” for me. Ha! Why not combine both? So my first attempts were a combination of pasta al limone and zoodles. The white beans were added later. So step by step I have arrived at this variant, which has now made it into the ranks of my favorite dishes. Maybe soon in yours too?
There are some versions of pasta with lemon sauce on the web. Jamie Oliver makes a creamy one from olive oil and Parmesan and then adds basil and rocket (he apparently shares my wish for a vegetable-extra). Most of the recipes use mainly butter, Parmesan, and pasta cooking water. But there are also variations with cream. Also, variations with zucchini and lemon. Or lemon and green long beans. The best of everything is now combined here – and yet the recipe is very easy and quick to make. If this version existed in Italy, it would be called “Pasta al Limone con Zucchine e Fagioli”. Everything just sounds better in Italian.
By the way, pasta al limone comes from Campania, the area around Naples with Amalfi and Sorrento. Lemons generally grow all over southern Italy, but those from this area are said to be very special. The “Sfusato Amalfitana” is even protected under the name “Limone Costa d’Amalfi IGP” at European level. Sfusato refers to the elongated, slim and distinctive shape of the lemon. Amalfitana describes the origin, namely the Amalfi Coast. The lemons are said to have a noticeably light skin and to be one of the richest in vitamin C. They are also quite large, but hardly contain any seeds. Incidentally, the Italian lemon liqueur “Limoncello” also comes from the area.
Do you know the land where the lemons blossom?
With the words “Do you know the land where the lemons blossom?” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe described in one of his most famous poems the Germans’ longing for Italy – and that of the Austrians: While I am writing this, I am counting the hours until the vacation: We are flying to Campania in a few days!! Yippieh! And I would like to take a few lemons with me and try growing a small tree from the freshly harvested rare kernels (rarely that I am happy about lemon kernels …). Maybe in a few years there will be original Amalfi lemons in Vienna, hihi. Would be nice. I love taking flower seeds with me from vacation and every year I have beautiful pink plants from Albania on the terrace and very delicious tomatoes from Bulgaria. Until then, let’s enjoy the supermarket lemons (please make sure that they are organic, we don’t want to eat pesticides), this dish will also be very tasty with them.
- 250 g (8.8 oz) spaghetti
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 2 zucchini
- olive oil
- some dried chilli, if you like it spicy
- 1 organically (!) grown lemon: zest and juice (approx. 5 tbsp)
- 150 ml (5 oz or 2/3 cups) vegan cream or coconut milk
- approx. 200 g (7 oz) white cooked beans (see notes)
- 1 tsp vegetable stock powder
- black pepper
- some basil leaves (see notes)
- Cook the spaghetti in salted water until al dente.
- In the meantime, finely chop the garlic and twist the zucchini through the spiral cutter *). Now you have so-called “zoodles”.
- Lightly heat olive oil in a pan, fry the chili and garlic for about ½ minute.
- Next, add the zoodles.
- After about 1-2 minutes add the spaghetti, as well as the lemon zest, lemon juice, cream or coconut milk, beans, stock, salt, and pepper. Stir, turn off the stove, leave it for 2-3 minutes, then stir in the chopped basil.
- Before serving, garnish the pasta with a little lemon zest and some basil.
- Use canned beans that have already been cooked. Or soak 100 g (3.5 oz) beans overnight and cook them until soft the next day. I used the small Haricot beans for this. Cannellini also fit well.
- Substitute the basil with e.g. parsley or dill (in winter).