pasta: spaghetti al limone

We know her as Sophia Loren. But, she was born in 1934 as Sofia Villani Scicolone in Rome, Italy. Her desire, beauty and talent elevated from a child of poverty to an international film legend in her own time. Her quote “Many people think they want things, but they don’t really have the strength, the discipline. They are weak. I believe that you get what you want if you want it badly enough.” Gives a glimpse into what propelled Sophia Loren into the eyes of the world. She has appeared in no less than 94 films. She has graced the covers and pages of many magazines and books and she is an author.

She shares her love of cooking in her cookbook Sophia Loren’s Recipes and Memories. Not only does the book provide delicious recipes, both elegant and easy to prepare, Sophia Loren shares her memories. The Introduction is fairly unusual for you would not expect it in this cookbook, Sophia Loren’s cookbook. She discusses life as a child during World War II and the hunger she experienced. “The best condiment for any food is hunger.” This quote is a clear indication that the recipes in this book not only nurture the body, but the soul as well.

My mother gave me Sophia Loren’s cookbook. I spent the first few days reading it, looking at the photos. I was mesmerized by the scope of her life. However, when reading the recipes I noticed that they are very down to earth and many were either the same or a variation of many that were made by my Nonna. (I grew up second generation Italian- American.) A few recipes from Loren’s book are new additions to our family “cookbook”. One of them is so easy to prepare and sophisticated in presentation that it is not only the perfect meal for entertaining in a pinch, but can satisfy quite a few hungry men on a hot summer night.

Spaghetti Al Limone

Ingredients
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, sliced or roughly diced
Zest of 2-3 lemons
½ cup heavy cream
Salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 ½ pounds spaghetti
Freshly grated Parmigiano cheese or Romano

1. Cook the pasta until al dente.
2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté until golden then add the lemon zest and ¼ cup cream. Add salt and pepper to taste.
3. When the pasta is finished cooking drain it and add to the saucepan along with the remaining cream. Toss well; remove from heat and serve, adding the Parmigiano or Romano to taste.

NOTE: I tend to add more butter (2-3 tablespoons) and I will use the juice from 1-2 lemons to create a little more sauce. The spaghetti tends to absorb any liquid quickly.

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67 comments

  • August 16, 2011 at 5:21 pm //

    Beautiful pictures!

    • August 19, 2011 at 7:08 am //

      Hi Alyssa, thank you so much!

  • August 17, 2011 at 5:32 am //

    I just had some spaghetti myself and love your version sounds and looks great! Thanks for sharing!

    • August 19, 2011 at 7:09 am //

      Hi Shumaila, thank you, and thank you for commenting, I hope you’ll stop by again.

  • August 17, 2011 at 6:30 am //

    lemon with spaghetti is my fav combination and something we have been eating more often these days. Such perfect for summer!

    • August 19, 2011 at 7:10 am //

      Hi Kankana, fruity hints go so well with summer, right? Thank you so much for commenting.

  • August 17, 2011 at 9:27 am //

    Gorgeous website and lovely recipe! I’ll have to try this…I’d heard of the lemon/spaghetti combo a couple of years ago but had forgotten all about it. Sounds perfect for summer.

    • August 19, 2011 at 7:11 am //

      Hello Jennifer, thank you, I’m so happy to hear you like the design of the site! I hope you get to try this recipe = )

  • August 17, 2011 at 2:27 pm //

    Looks beautiful, simple and fresh!

    • August 19, 2011 at 7:12 am //

      Thank you Claudine!

  • August 17, 2011 at 2:50 pm //

    Beautiful pictures! I’ll have to try this with wheat-free pasta! :D

    • August 19, 2011 at 7:12 am //

      Hi Yuri, thank you for your kinds words, I hope it’s not too hard to find wheat free pasta? Maybe spaghetti squash might be an option?

  • August 17, 2011 at 6:18 pm //

    Looks really yummy! Will definitely make!

    • August 19, 2011 at 7:13 am //

      Hi Hanna, thank you!

  • August 17, 2011 at 7:04 pm //

    I love this recipe! it sounds delicious, I have to give it a try! You’ve made a wonderful job taking pictures, I find pasta is one of the most difficult dishes to make attractive in pictures…

    • August 19, 2011 at 7:15 am //

      Hi Sandee! Thank you, I hope you’ll give it a try, let me know if you do. Food is truly one of those still objects that are so difficult to photograph, pasta, all the more = )

  • August 17, 2011 at 8:36 pm //

    This looks so good, it is making me hungry. This is proof that some of the best dishes are those that are fairly simple with only a few ingredients instead of loaded with a ton of different flavors. Lemon is perfect for the summer. Yum!

    • August 19, 2011 at 7:15 am //

      Hi Tina, thank you, isn’t lemon one of those perfect flavors for the summer?

    • August 19, 2011 at 10:58 am //

      Hello Tina! Lemon is such a perfect addition into a recipe, it seems so synonymous with summer. Thank you so much for commenting!

  • August 17, 2011 at 8:49 pm //

    Lovely dish, so fresh and the photos are so summery.

    Thanks for your kind comment on my blog :)

    • August 19, 2011 at 10:59 am //

      Hi Emma, thank you for kind compliments, it’s wonderful to connect.

  • August 18, 2011 at 12:03 am //

    Sounds delicious Camille, I love lemon. Nice photos too. Really like your blog! Love the strong red color and simple, clean design. This post reminds me of being in Rome last fall. The power in simple food and fantastic ingredients, and of course fresh pasta, which I don’t make often enough. I will be though in the weeks ahead. A friend from Rome arrives this evening to stay for a few weeks! Will have to check out the cookbook.

    • August 19, 2011 at 11:01 am //

      Hi Sally,

      I will be sure to let Camille know = ) Thank you for the kind compliment on the blog, we both like clean lines. How was your trip to Rome? I hope you enjoy spending time with your friend who is visiting, thank you so much for connecting!

    • August 19, 2011 at 11:06 am //

      Thank you!

    • August 19, 2011 at 11:06 am //

      Thank you Richa, and thank you so much for connecting!

  • August 18, 2011 at 6:50 am //

    I’ll have to look into Sophia’s cookbook…really sounds like something I could enjoy too.

    This pasta with lemon looks so good, your photos are absolutely edible. Beautifully done – I’m craving this now!

    • August 19, 2011 at 11:08 am //

      Hello Cristina, let me know your thoughts on the book if you pick it up = ) Thank you for the kind comments on the post and photos, and most of all, thank you for connecting!

  • August 18, 2011 at 11:08 pm //

    holy hell, this looks divine. fantastic photos!

    • August 19, 2011 at 7:05 am //

      Thank you Jasmine = )

  • August 18, 2011 at 11:24 pm //

    This recipe looks so bright and fresh. I agree, it’s a perfect summer dinner.

    • August 19, 2011 at 7:11 am //

      Hi Lynda, thank you so much, fruity bases savories seem to pair so well with the summer months, right?

  • August 19, 2011 at 12:30 am //

    I’m so thrilled I found your blog. Your photos are beautiful and I’d forgotten about this combination. A perfect summer’s dinner with a big salad and a glass of white wine.

    • August 19, 2011 at 7:03 am //

      Hi Tori! I’m so glad you found us too! It’s so wonderful to have a new reader that we can connect with.

  • August 19, 2011 at 2:34 am //

    I love Sophia’s cookbook. The pasta looks delish and the photos are gorgeous-fresh and crisp!

    • August 19, 2011 at 6:56 am //

      Hi Naomi, well thank you, what are some of your favorite recipes of hers?

  • August 19, 2011 at 2:56 am //

    This dish sounds seriously delicious! I have to make this!

    • August 19, 2011 at 6:55 am //

      Hello Kate, thank you!

  • August 19, 2011 at 3:18 am //

    Wow this looks absolutely delicious and your pictures are gorgeous! LOVE your blog and so glad to be a new follower! xoxo

    • August 19, 2011 at 6:54 am //

      Hi Kelly, thank you, that is so kind of you to say.

  • August 19, 2011 at 5:10 am //

    Pasta recipes are always welcomed! Thanks for sharing.

    • August 19, 2011 at 6:52 am //

      Hi there, and thank you so much for coming by and commenting, it’s wonderful to have a new reader!

  • August 19, 2011 at 11:41 am //

    Sounds like a perfect summer recipe…can’t wait to try this flavor combination (and really, isn’t everything improved with a splash of lemon and cream? ;-) Love the info on Sophia too!

    • August 22, 2011 at 12:16 pm //

      Thank you Luv’s Spoonfuls! Lemon and Cream, why not? It sounds like an awesome addition.

  • August 20, 2011 at 10:12 am //

    I will have to look for her book, she is such a timeless beauty. This dish reminds me of summer. Beautiful site you have her, look forward to coming back.
    -Gina-

    • August 29, 2011 at 1:06 pm //

      Hi Gina, yes, I think you’d love it

  • August 22, 2011 at 3:45 pm //

    This is a really interesting recipe! I never cooked pasta with lemon as ingredient. I have to try that soon!

    • August 29, 2011 at 1:06 pm //

      Hi Cindy, thank you for commenting, I hope you get to try it soon.

  • August 28, 2011 at 11:35 pm //

    this looks very yummy- I will definitely have to have to try this for dinner soon!

    • August 29, 2011 at 1:07 pm //

      Love the name Tennessee Sugar, let me know if you try out this recipe.

  • August 29, 2011 at 7:29 am //

    Lemon & spagetti is bliss for me..actually anything savory with lemon is bliss for me :) This looks lovely!

    Thanks for sharing!

    • August 29, 2011 at 1:07 pm //

      Hi Tanvi, thank you!

  • August 29, 2011 at 8:06 am //

    YUMMY this looks so delicious, wonderful photos!

    • August 29, 2011 at 1:07 pm //

      Hi Koko, thank you so much!

  • August 29, 2011 at 11:53 am //

    I adore this pasta dish, especially with Meyer lemons. It’s like a plate of sunshine.

    • August 29, 2011 at 1:07 pm //

      Hi Carolyn, thank you, let me know if you try the recipe.

  • August 31, 2011 at 3:51 pm //

    This post is purely DEK-A-DENT! Lovely creamy goodness. And I had no idea Sophia Loren was a such a cook. Gwyneth has some competition.

  • September 1, 2011 at 3:54 am //

    Sophia Loren is one of my favorite actresses, in fact, I recently saw a few of her movies and she is mesmerizing; I read her bio and know all her hardships and how hard she worked for her success. This recipe is typical Italian-stock , simple but flavorful.

    • September 1, 2011 at 3:33 pm //

      Hello Taste Of Beirut, thank you so much for commenting. She really has gone through such hardships, she is someone, a woman that many can look up to, do you have a favorite recipe by her, which you like?

  • September 4, 2011 at 9:09 pm //

    I would imagine that Sophia Loren knows a thing or two about Italian dishes. The pasta looks simple, but quite good. I would agree with you about adding more butter and lemon. I prefer pasta that has more sauce.

    • September 5, 2011 at 7:38 pm //

      Hi Bunkycooks, next time it’s more butter and lemon! Thank you so much for commenting.

  • November 13, 2011 at 12:58 pm //

    New to your site. This is a wonderful but simple recipe. The lemon really makes it for me. Lovely photos.

    • November 14, 2011 at 11:21 am //

      Thank you so much Suzi!

  • November 15, 2011 at 4:35 am //

    Brewed this up Friday with shrimp….Yummy…