Spring Green Lemon & Basil Pasta

Spring Green Pasta // loveandlemons.com

This is the pasta we made for my sister and her husband on this unintentionally-late-cooking night. We actually handmade these pasta noodles, which I’ll have to show in another post. Between messy flour, sticky noodles, and it being 11pm… we failed to get photographs of any part of that process.

Despite starting this meal way too late, it comes together super fast. The lemon and olive oil highlight the crunchy spring vegetables in a bright but simple way. And especially if you’re using homemade pasta, the flavors don’t overwhelm the taste of the fresh noodles.

I was pleasantly surprised that this turned out as elegant-looking as it does. Due to exhaustion and hunger, I served the rest of the non-pictured pasta in a giant bowl and we all dug forks in. It’s entertaining at its finest at my house…

spring green lemon & basil pasta

Serves: serves 3-4
  • ½ pound pasta, homemade or store bought - whole wheat, or whatever you like
  • ¼ cup, plus 1 tablespoon olive oil.
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • splash of white wine (1-2 tablespoons - optional)
  • 1 cup chopped asparagus, thin spears, tender parts only
  • ½ cup peas (can be frozen)
  • 1-2 cups of spinach, roughly chopped
  • small handful of basil (about ¼ cup), chopped
  • juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • pinches of salt and pepper
  • pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
  • grated parmesan or pecorino cheese to go on top (optional)
  1. Make a lemon oil, by pouring ¼ cup olive oil into a small bowl with the zest of the lemon. Set aside.
  2. Cook pasta until just short of al dente. Drain pasta but reserve some of the pasta water.
  3. In a large skillet, heat olive oil, add chopped shallot and garlic and cook until shallot is translucent (careful not to burn the garlic), about 1-2 minutes. Add a splash of white wine (if using - or just skip it) and drop in asparagus and peas. Add lemon juice (from the lemon you previously zested), salt and pepper. Toss to combine. Cook for about 2 more minutes until asparagus is tender but still has a nice crunchy bite, and peas are warmed through.
  4. Add cooked pasta to the pan, toss to coat everything. Turn off heat and toss in spinach, letting the heat of the pasta wilt it.
  5. Strain zest out of your reserved lemon oil (or leave it in if you want this extra lemon-ey). Pour lemon oil over the pasta and toss everything again. Add some pasta water if necessary to create your desired consistency. Toss in basil. Taste and adjust seasonings one final time, if necessary.
  6. Finish with grated cheese and red pepper flake (both optional).



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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. Particular Chin

    We really enjoyed this pasta and fed it to the baby as well. We added some bacon as we had some leftover and it was great! Will make this again! Thanks for a great recipe.

  2. Julia

    Tastes delicious but I added greater ratio of veggies to some more pasta

  3. Elisa Stewart

    Made this again tonight, but with a couple tweaks… I added sliced cherry tomatoes when I added the spinach for color and that sweetness added a lot to the dish. I also sprinkled about 1TB of nutritional yeast instead of cheese, since I eat whole food plant based.
    Wondering if a few slices of sweet pepper would be good in this? May have to try that next time.
    Love this!

  4. I’m truly enjoying the design and layout of your blog. It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more pleasant for me to come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a designer to create your theme?
    Exceptional work!

  5. We had this for dinner tonight. I added a few capers to it, too. So, so good and so easy! Thanks for the recipe!

  6. You’re right, this does look so elegant but without being pretentious. I think that’s what I love about pasta the most!

  7. Marissa from pinchandswirl.com

    Looks so refreshing – love the sweet pop of those fresh peas. Looking forward to the pasta post! 🙂

  8. Beautiful 🙂 What a great looking pasta.
    We always eat quite late too. I’m always in the kitchen experimenting with recipes and the poor boyfriend is stuck waiting for his meal. *hah* 🙂

  9. That is just the prettiest bowl of pasta ever!

  10. I love the introduction, “messy flour, sticky noodles”… I am in that mess every week, as I discovered that I actually love pasta, home made though…:) I do have a post about all my struggles with semolina flour. What flour did you use? I’d like to see a recipe for your pasta…:)

  11. OMG..looks like all the sunlight of the world has gone into your pictures!! Such gorgeous blog, and lovely clicks.

  12. I love the flavors in this pasta Jeanine! More often than not, dinners in my house start much later than they should. I love the thought of y’all eating this pasta from one big bowl. Now that is communal eating!

  13. Kelly from snailsview.com

    What a perfect bowl of pasta.

  14. Eileen from hampiesandwiches.blogspot.com

    Beautiful! A pasta meal like this is one of my favorite ways to shove as many vegetables as possible into my mouth. 🙂

  15. I’m impressed- those noodles look perfect! However, I do smile at the idea of you all eating pasta out of one giant bowl in the middle of the night.

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.