Pasta With Lemon, Sage, Chilli & Parmesan

Pasta With Lemon, Sage, Chilli & Parmesan

This pasta recipe is a Sicilian classic. With lemon the star ingredient, the Sicilians would also use lots of olive oil – which here is switched out for butter to give the sauce a lovely velvety texture and to help it cut through the citrus flavours.
Photography: KRIS KIRKHAM
Total Time
15 Minutes
Extra virgin olive oil for cooking
40g of fine dried breadcrumbs
50g of unsalted butter
1 fresh red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely sliced
1 salted anchovy, chopped
Zest & juice of 1 large unwaxed lemon
120g of parmesan cheese, grated
1 handful of sage leaves
400g of dried spaghetti, linguine or bucatini
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
Step 1

Heat a little oil in a small sauté pan and gently fry the breadcrumbs until they start to turn a light golden brown. Drain and reserve.

Step 2

Add a lug of olive oil to a medium sauté pan set over a medium heat, then add the butter. When the butter starts to bubble gently and foam (not brown), stir in the chilli, garlic and anchovy. Cook for a minute. Add the lemon zest and juice. Remove from the heat. Add the parmesan and sage and stir well. Keep warm.

Step 3

Cook the pasta in boiling salted water according to the packet instructions. Drain, reserving some of the pasta cooking water.

Step 4

Transfer the pasta to the buttery lemon sauce along with a lug of pasta water. Return to the heat and toss the pasta with the sauce using a spoon or tongs, ensuring that all the pasta is coated and the sauce is rich and reduced. Season with a little more salt and black pepper, then serve immediately sprinkled with the breadcrumbs.

Recipe courtesy of Sicilia by Ben Tish (Bloomsbury Absolute, £26) is out now. Photography by Kris Kirkham.

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