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Lemon Basil Butter Pasta

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  • Author: Ali
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


All you need are 6 simple ingredients to make a vibrant batch of this lemon basil butter pasta in less than 30 minutes.


  • 3 cups packed (~80 grams) fresh basil leaves
  • 6 tablespoons salted butter, room temperature
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 1 small lemon, zested and juiced 
  • fine sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1 pound uncooked pasta (I used bucatini)
  • Parmesan cheese, for serving


  1. Blanch the basil (optional). Bring a large stockpot of water to a boil. Place the basil in a large fine-mesh strainer or colander. Submerge the strainer in the boiling water for 5 to 10 seconds, quickly pressing the basil down with a wooden spoon so that it all makes contact with the water. Then immediately remove and transfer the basil to a bowl of ice water and submerge it completely to halt the cooking process. Remove the basil and wring it dry with your hands, then transfer it to a food processor.
  2. Make the lemon basil butter. Add the butter, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice (about 2 tablespoons), a pinch of salt and some generous twists of black pepper to the food processor. Pulse until smooth, pausing to scrape down the sides of the bowl a few times if needed.
  3. Cook the pasta. Generously salt the boiling water. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Strain the pasta and return it to the pot.
  4. Toss. Add the lemon basil butter to the pasta and toss with tongs until evenly coated. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if needed.
  5. Serve. Serve immediately, garnished with lots of Parmesan cheese, and enjoy!


Recipe slightly adapted from The New York Times.