Tortellini With Lemon & Herbs

Last week I posted a wintry pasta dish, so this week I am countering with a pasta that is all about summer. This sauce is light and tangy, perfect for a hot summer night, especially if you can use herbs right out of your own garden. It pairs best with fresh pasta, I think. I used cheese tortellini to make a more filling main dish, but it would also work well with fresh fettuccine as a side.

I paired the pasta with steamed asparagus sprinkled with Parmesan and a little olive oil. (Just run it under the broiler until the Parmesan melts.)

Pasta with Lemon and Herbs

Time to make: ~10 minutes
Yields: 2 servings (double or triple as desired)

What you need:

  • 1 garlic clove, sliced thin
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • the zest and juice of 1 small lemon
  • 2 tbsp. butter, softened
  • ¼ cup fresh herbs, minced (good choices are basil, parsley and oregano)
  • crushed red pepper flakes to taste
  • grated Parmesan to taste
  • 8 oz. tortellini or other fresh pasta
  1. Cook the pasta in well-salted boiling water.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium.
  3. Add the garlic and saute just until golden, then remove from the heat.
  4. Combine the garlic and oil with the lemon juice, zest, butter and herbs in a large bowl.
  5. Toss with the cooked, drained pasta until the butter is melted and the pasta is well coated.
  6. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes and Parmesan as desired.

Note: Reserve some of the pasta cooking water and mix in a tablespoon or two if the sauce needs a little liquid.

This is my entry for Presto Pasta Nights, hosted this week by Once Upon a Feast.


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7 thoughts on “Tortellini With Lemon & Herbs

  1. Ruth 4 July 2008 at 6:55 am

    What a lovely summery dish, perfect for all the fresh herbs I’m finally beginning to see around here. Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights.

  2. Jane Marie 4 July 2008 at 7:10 pm

    This looks and sounds fantastic. I just ate a big grilled Fourth of July meal , and I’m hungry all over again just looking at the picture.

  3. […] basic plots in literature*, I believe there are five basic pasta sauces. They are garlic and oil, butter, white sauce, vegetable sauce and tomato sauce. But for each of these sauces, there are endless […]

  4. GoodbyeNavi 4 January 2012 at 11:09 pm

    Although I found this three years later and in the Winter, I still used this recipe. I made some spinach for the vegetable. You saved my butt tonight for a quick meal. Thank you!

  5. Kathleen 11 October 2012 at 1:40 pm

    This was just what I was looking for to make tonight! Going to try it with some mushroom tortellini, thanks!

  6. Shannon 11 October 2012 at 3:03 pm

    I hope you enjoy it!

  7. Peter Rooney 12 June 2014 at 2:58 am

    This dish is JUST DELICIOUS. We live in Queensland, Australia, so clean fresh tasting food is great with our warm climate, this lemon and herb sauce really is fantastic

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