Springtime Lemon Pasta with butter
Easy Dinner Recipe
Recipe and Images Provided by Strawberry Blondie Kitchen
Nothing quite says “Springtime” like my favorite lemon pasta recipe – and for a good reason! The mix of pasta and tender vegetables with the fragrant aroma of fresh dill and garlic makes lemon pasta a must-have at any dinner, party, or special event.
In fact, the only lemon pasta recipes that truly work for me are the ones that deliver restaurant-quality food with at-home effort. Our essential Springtime Lemon Pasta with Butter recipe – from the ever-influential Strawberry Blondie Kitchen – captures this sentiment perfectly.
Are you ready to get started?
If everything goes well – and it will, because I put this recipe through its paces – you’ll end up with a colorful, fragrant, and ultra-sumptuous dish just like you’d find at your beloved local Italian restaurant. This is a dish that’s worth the time and effort to put it together, so plate it like you were a bombastic chef on a reality cooking show!
Shallots, butter, and pancetta: three staple ingredients for lemon pasta recipes
When my friend at Strawberry Blondie Kitchen sent me this recipe, I pored through the ingredients to see if it was one of those springtime lemon pasta recipes that deserved a special space in my book (okay, google doc) of elite recipes.
At first glance, it looked great, but I had to test out this lemon pasta recipe on my own before passing it along to you. I am so glad I did!
Halfway through our “kitchen stress test,” I was treated to one of the finest Italian food aromas I’ve ever smelled in my life – (high quality) butter, shallots, and garlic. While that spectacular aroma delighted me as I scurried around the kitchen, I found myself counting down the seconds before I could tuck into this outstanding meal.
At that point, it was settled: this Springtime lemon pasta recipe was a keeper!
Pasta: a legendary ingredient in lemon pasta recipes the world over
So, there is a lot of misinformation out there about the history of pasta. Italians love to say they invented it, while the Chinese claim dibs on bringing pasta to the world.
Which one is right? Well, in some ways, both are!
There’s no doubt that pasta was popularized – if not “commercialized” – locally by the Chinese and other Asians in the 13th century. By the time Marco Polo made the rounds, bringing this masterpiece staple from the Chinese to the Italians, the recipe for pasta was already well-formed.
In fact, if you go even further back, evidence points to nomadic Arab traders coming across pasta (noodles!) during travels, thanks to references to a version of pasta in an Arab trader’s diary – in 1154!
Regardless of who invented it, who made it popular, or who named it, we’re eternally thankful we have it for our recipes!
High butterfat butter: a must for lemon pasta recipes
As centuries passed, Americans started faithfully adopting some of Italy’s best habits for cooking pasta. They began adding fresh herbs and vegetables to butter, crafting out-of-this-world sauces and mixtures for the long, thin threads.
The key point here? Butter makes everything better – especially pasta.
And as someone in the fifth generation of family members running America’s oldest family owned creamery, Minerva Dairy, I’ve seen plenty of lemon pasta recipes come out less-than-stellar, thanks to low-quality, low butterfat butter.
This is why my family – now training its sixth generations of butter makers – has worked tirelessly to build a showstopping, unforgettable butter recipe, perfected by passion over the years.
What’s one of our secrets? A high butterfat count – of 85%!
So, each time I make something that needs butter, including this delightful Springtime lemon pasta recipe, I always add our dairy’s unsalted version, even though we have salted, garlic herb, and even maple syrup varieties available at markets, specialty stores, and our website. And each time I’m thrilled with how things turned out, and can’t wait to dig in!
Please enjoy this rich, colorful lemon pasta dish, with Minerva butter serving as a cornerstone ingredient!
- 8.8 oz Creamette Homestyle™ Fettuccine
- 4 tablespoons Minerva Dairy Unsalted Butter, divided
- 4 ounces pancetta, diced
- 2 shallots, finely diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 bunch of asparagus, ends trimmed and cut into 1″ pieces
- 4 ounces sugar snap peas
- 1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, if desired
- 1/2 cup shaved parmesan cheese (more for topping)
- 1 tablespoon fresh dill, minced
- Into a large pot, bring water to a boil. Add in a pinch of salt and pasta and cook for 5-7 minutes. Reserve 1/3 cup of the salty pasta water.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet, over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of butter and allow to melt. Add in pancetta and cook until brown and crispy, about 5 minutes. Remove pancetta to a paper towel-lined plate. Discard some of the pancetta grease, leaving about a tablespoon.
- Add in remaining butter and melt. Add in garlic and shallot and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Toss in asparagus and snap peas and stir to coat. Add in 2-3 tablespoons of the reserved pasta water (enough to cover the bottom of the pan), salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and add in drained pasta.
- Turn off the heat and add in lemon juice and parmesan cheese.
- Top with pancetta, more parmesan and dill.