Why you should add lemon juice to pasta

Since news broke that eating noodles isn't so terrible after all, you've been -- ahem -- generous with your pasta dinners. We're on board with that. Here's how to make that bowl of spaghetti taste even better -- without adding any salt at all.

What You Need: Your favorite cooked pasta, tomato sauce, and a lemon wedge.

What You Do: Serve yourself a heap of noodles and pour tomato sauce over them like you normally would. Then, remove the seeds from the lemon wedge and squeeze it right on top. You want just enough to make a difference but not so much that the juice collects at the bottom of the bowl. Toss the pasta to distribute the lemon juice evenly throughout the dish.

Lemon makes your pasta so much better

OK, but Does It Taste Like Citrus? Nope! But it definitely adds a nice tang. Lemons are a flavor enhancer just like salt but without all the sodium. A fresh squeeze brings out the acidity of the tomatoes and enhances the flavor of the noodles, making the entire dish more savory.

When life gives you lemons: Squeeze them on some penne.

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18 Perfect Pasta Recipes
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18 Perfect Pasta Recipes

Penne and farfalle and orzo, oh my! With so many types of pasta, how can you choose just one? Don't worry we've got 18 recipes here to cover your bases.

15 Minute Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Basil Cashew Pasta

If you are a meat person you could add some grilled chicken or whichever meat you prefer. Plus, everyone will love the sauce. It’s a classic turned crazy easy and good for you too!

Get the recipe: 15 Minute Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Basil Cashew Pasta

Mason Jar Pasta Salad

Using mason jar salads, as opposed to plastic containers, keeps the salad ingredients incredibly fresh throughout the week and makes transporting my lunch very convenient.

Get the recipe: Mason Jar Pasta Salad

Mezzelune Dolci (Half-Moon-Shape Sweet Past Filled With Candied Fruit)

This is a classic Neapolitan pasta dessert filled with candied fruits and ricotta cheese. You can use good-quality chocolate chips instead of candied fruit.

Get the recipe: Mezzelune Dolci (Half-Moon-Shape Sweet Past Filled with Candied Fruit)

Pasta With Peas, Asparagus, Butter Lettuce And Prosciutto

Wilted butter lettuce is a surprisingly delicious addition to pasta with sweet green peas and salty prosciutto.

Get the recipe: Pasta with Peas, Asparagus, Butter Lettuce and Prosciutto

Cauliflower Pasta With Pecorino, Grated Egg And Pine Nuts

Inspired by the Sicilian approach to cauliflower (but without the expensive saffron), this pasta gets its distinctive, delicious taste from slowly caramelizing the cauliflower in a skillet until the vegetable turns musky sweet. Pecorino sharpens up the pasta, and the addition of grated eggs gives it a satisfying richness.

Get the recipe: Cauliflower Pasta with Pecorino, Grated Egg and Pine Nuts

Pasta With Shrimp, Tomatoes And Lemon Vinaigrette

A touch of lemon vinaigrette makes this shrimp pasta light and refreshing.

Get the recipe: Pasta with Shrimp, Tomatoes and Lemon Vinaigrette

Pasta With Creamy Mushroom-Pea Sauce

Peas combine deliciously with wild mushrooms, such as chanterelles, but they are hard to come by this early in the season. You can still get the depth of flavor from more available creminis.

Get the recipe: Pasta with Creamy Mushroom-Pea Sauce

Three-Cheese Chicken Penne Pasta Bake

This creamy, cheesy, hearty casserole that sports 5 stars for deliciousness!

Get the recipe: Three-Cheese Chicken Penne Pasta Bake

Shrimp And Pesto Pasta

The delightful flavors of asparagus and pesto combine beautifully with fettuccine and shrimp in a light and simple pasta dish that works for family or casual entertaining. Make it a meal: Serve with a tomato-and-arugula salad tossed with mustard-balsamic vinaigrette and fruit sorbet for dessert.

Get the recipe: Shrimp And Pesto Pasta

Inside-Out Lasagna

Here we take basic lasagna ingredients - ricotta cheese, pasta and tomatoes - and skip the layering and long baking time to make a super-quick and satisfying meal for the whole family. To cut down on prep time, look for pre-sliced mushrooms. For meat lovers, brown some crumbled turkey sausage along with the onions and garlic. Serve with: Steamed broccoli and whole-grain baguette.

Get the recipe: Inside-Out Lasagna

Italian Mussels And Pasta

This combination of mussels with plenty of garlic, parsley, saffron and white wine was inspired by the Venetian soup zuppa de peoci, which is usually ladled over sliced crusty bread. Here we serve it over pasta. For a more elegant presentation you can remove the mussels from their shells before serving…but then again, who wants to be elegant?

Get the recipe: Italian Mussels and Pasta

Rigatoni And Meatballs

Spaghetti noodles can be cumbersome and unwieldy. If you want to take the easy road then serve with rigatoni.

Get the recipe: Rigatoni and Meatballs

Asparagus Linguine With Almond Butter Crisp

Rather than blanching and shocking the spears, simply sauté bite-sized pieces, then let them cook to al dente in a bit of broth and soy so that they soak up some of that flavor while cooking. This butter is actually a completely savory compound butter, playing up the nutty almonds with salty grated Parmesan, a touch of heat from chile flakes, and fragrant roasted garlic. Serve over a simple piece of fish, chicken with some grilled vegetables, or you can skip the protein and just liven up veggies with spiced garlic crunch.

Get the recipe: Asparagus Linguine with Almond Butter Crisp

Caramelized Onion Lasagna

This unusual lasagna with portobello mushrooms, sweet onions, spinach and Gorgonzola cheese has a rich, complex flavor. It's also great with goat cheese instead of Gorgonzola, if you prefer.

Get the recipe: Caramelized Onion Lasagna

Pasta With Green Beans, Potatoes And Basil Pesto (Pasta Alla Ligure)

The combination of pasta, potatoes, and pesto seems unlikely, but it works, creating a hearty primo pungent with the flavor of fresh basil.

Get the recipe: Pasta with Green Beans, Potatoes and Basil Pesto (Pasta Alla Ligure)

Sweet Potato And Red Pepper Pasta

Here’s a way to use the “power vegetables” sweet potato and red bell pepper in a satisfying vegetarian pasta dish full of fresh herbs and creamy goat cheese. Any fresh herbs you have on hand, like basil, oregano, sorrel or chives, can be substituted for the tarragon. Serve with a garden salad.

Get the recipe: Sweet Potato And Red Pepper Pasta

Eggplant Pomodoro Pasta

Diced eggplant turns tender and tasty sautéed with garlic and olive oil. Toss with fresh plum tomatoes, green olives and capers and you have a simple light summer sauce

Get the recipe: Eggplant Pomodoro Pasta

Creamy Pasta Primavera

Fresh zucchini and asparagus paired with noodles, chicken and two kinds of cheese, what's not to like?

Get the recipe: Creamy Pasta Primavera


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