6 quarts water
2 tablespoons sea salt
1 pound spaghetti or linguine
2 – 3 garlic cloves, minced
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 – 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley, basil, or arugula
2 – 3 teaspoons minced lemon zest
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 cup reserved pasta cooking water


1. In a large stockpot, bring water to a rolling boil. Add salt and spaghetti and cook until quite al dente (hard), about done.
2. While the pasta is cooking, place garlic in a large skillet, drizzle with the olive oil and cook, over low heat until it barely begins to color. Add parsley, lemon zest, black pepper to taste and a pinch of the salt, remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
3. When the pasta is cooked to quite al dente, drain well, reserving 1 cup of the starchy pasta cooking water.
4. Add the drained pasta to the sauce in the skillet. Pour in cup of the pasta cooking water and cook over the highest heat, stirring with a wooden fork to mix the pasta and sauce. Add more of the pasta cooking water if the sauce dries out and the pasta isn’t cooked. The sauce should be slightly soupy.
It is important to use the best ingredients in this dish since there are so few. Faith Willinger says that if you do not have any fresh herbs on hand, then they can be omitted, but do not use dried.
Pasta with Garlic and Lem
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