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Lemon Cream Sauce Tossed with Pasta

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The easiest homemade lemon cream sauce tossed with pasta you will ever find. The sauce itself is infused with lemon juice, heavy cream, and minced garlic.

This has to be one of Kim’s favorite dishes. It’s creamy, salty, and slightly tart.

The best part about the pasta dish is the overall simplicity. Truth be told, the dry noodles take longer to cook than the pan sauce.

There’s only one tricky part, keeping the sauce from breaking. If you follow us then you know breaking a sauce in my kitchen is a cardinal sin.

I can understand keeping that beautifully creamy texture and taste can be a challenge, but as they say, practice makes perfect. For people who are new to cooking, I will provide some tips below.

For know, let’s get this recipe going!

The finished lemon cream sauce served with tricolor rotini or spaghetti pasta in white bowls.

Lemon Cream Sauce Instructions:

First, pick out your favorite pasta and cook it per the box instructions and set the noodles aside. When picking a noodle for my lemon cream sauce, I choose a short pasta with a lot of nooks and crannies or a long noodle with a lot of surface area.

Basically, you want a pasta noodle that gives the sauce plenty of space to grab hold of and stick. Next, in a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the olive oil and garlic, and saute the garlic for about 3 minutes.

You may notice, I used a saute pan, that’s okay too. Either way, give the pan a minute or two to warm up before adding the olive oil and garlic.

Most importantly, do not let the garlic burn. It gets bitter and has a terrible texture on the tongue.

The lemon cream sauce ingredients, like fresh garlic and heavy cream with a fresh lemon surrounded by dry pasta.

After that, add the heavy cream and stir the sauce well to combine everything while heating the cream until it’s hot. But do NOT let it come to a boil.

If your heavy cream mixture looks like mine below, don’t panic. Just use a whisk to briskly combine the cream and oil.

Now, add the salt and pepper to the pan. Do a quick taste test and add more of the seasonings if you desire.

The lemon cream sauce cooking in a saute pan before the olive oil and heavy cream has completely mixed.

Then, add the lemon juice and remove the pan from the heat. The sauce will thicken quickly.

I don’t know the chemistry behind it, but lemon juice seems to thicken cream in a matter seconds, so there’s no need for cornstarch or a roux. 

Last, toss the sauce with your cooked pasta and garnish with fresh basil and Parmesan if you want. Or toss in some spinach for creamy spinach lemon pasta.

Serve the dish immediately, as I do not recommend storing it.

A final photo of the finished lemon cream sauce mixed with cooked pasta and garnished with fresh basil.

Cream Sauce Tips:

When you first start cooking cream sauces, it’s best to start on a medium-low to low heat setting so you can keep an eye on the cream. If it comes to a boil, you can pretty much kiss the sauce goodbye.

There will be little white beads of fat in the sauce. For this recipe. once you start to see thin wisps of steam coming off the cream, it’s done.

Quickly remove it from the heat and stir in the lemon juice. Try using fresh ingredients when working with cream sauces.

For tomato sauces, canned and dry ingredients are fine because the pasta sauces aren’t typically as delicate as heavy cream.

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A final photo of the finished lemon cream sauce mixed with cooked pasta and garnished with fresh basil.

Lemon Cream Sauce Tossed with Pasta

Yield: 4 Servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

The easiest homemade lemon cream sauce tossed with pasta you will ever find. The sauce itself is infused with lemon juice, heavy cream, and minced garlic.

Ingredients

  • 8 Ounces Dry Pasta, (we used Rotini and Spaghetti)
  • 4 Cloves Garlic, (minced)
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 8 Ounces Heavy Cream, (about 1 cup by volume)
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1/4 Cup Lemon Juice, (fresh squeezed about 1 lemon)
  • 4 Tablespoons Basil, (fresh, sliced or chopped)

Instructions

  1. First, cook the pasta per the box instructions and set aside.
  2. Next, in a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the olive and garlic, saute for about 3 minutes.
  3. After that, add the cream and stir the sauce to combine while heating the cream until it hot. But NOT boiling.
  4. Now, add the salt and pepper and do a quick taste test and add more if you desire.
  5. Then, add the lemon juice and remove the pan from the heat. The sauce will thicken quickly.
  6. Last, toss the sauce with pasta and garnish with fresh basil. Serve immediately.

Notes

The calories listed are an approximation based on the ingredients and uses a 2-ounce serving of cooked pasta. Actual calories will vary. I would not recommend storing this sauce as it solidifies in your fridge. Reheating it may cause the sauce to break if care is not used. Serve the sauce immediately.

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As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 2 Ounces
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 445Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 13gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 77mgSodium: 171mgCarbohydrates: 46gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 8g

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