Lemony Lemon Pasta with Spinach and Lemons

Lemony Lemon Pasta with Spinach and Lemons

If you are looking for a lemon kick in all the right ways, this easy and delicious pasta dish hits all the notes!

We made some preserved lemons from Nicole Rucker’s cookbook, Dappled: Baking Recipes for Fruit Lovers: A Cookbook and when they were ready to eat after a month, we searched for some ideas to use them.

I generally like creamy and saucy pasta dishes but the bread crumbs in this one were astounding … I didn’t miss the sauce at all. We had some asparagus on hand but the pasta didn’t need it. This recipe is from Bon Appetit and we didn’t change a thing.


  • 8 T butter, divided
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • ½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes, divided
  • ¾ C panko
  • 1 t finely grated lemon zest
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 oz. fresh pasta
  • 2 bunches flat-leaf spinach, trimmed, large leaves torn in half (about 8 cups), divided
  • 1 T (or more) fresh lemon juice
  • 1 T (or more) thinly sliced preserved lemon peel
  • 2 T olive oil


Heat oil and 2 T butter in a large skillet over medium heat until butter is foaming. Add garlic and ¼ t red pepper flakes; cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add panko and cook, stirring often, until panko is golden brown, about 2 minutes. Mix in lemon zest and transfer panko to a paper towel–lined plate; season with salt and pepper. Let cool; set aside. Wipe out skillet.

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente (about 5 minutes for fresh pasta). Drain.

Meanwhile, heat remaining 6 T butter in same skillet over medium heat. Cook, swirling skillet occasionally, until butter is brown, about 3 minutes. Add 1 bunch spinach; cook, tossing, until wilted, about 1 minute.

Add pasta to skillet and toss to coat. Add lemon juice, preserved lemon peel, and remaining ¼ t red pepper flakes and toss to combine; season with salt, pepper, and more lemon juice and preserved lemon peel, if desired. Add remaining spinach and toss until slightly wilted, about 1 minute.

Serve pasta topped with reserved panko.

DO AHEAD: Panko can be toasted 1 day ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.

That lemon panko is the bomb. We will look for other uses for them as well.

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