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Pasta with Lemon Butter Garlic Sauce

Pasta with Lemon Garlic Butter Sauce | Magnolia Days

I’m a sucker for pretty pasta. I get excited when I see packages of pasta with different shapes and colors. It gets thrown in my shopping cart faster than most anything else. It isn’t like I go out and hunt for it. I run across it when I’m out shopping. I was in a HomeGoods recently and spotted this flower shaped colored pasta. At least it looks flower shaped to me. I immediately thought it was a perfect shape for a spring dish. But what to make? Then I had this idea for pasta with lemon butter garlic sauce.

I run across lots of recipes on the internet. I don’t subscribe to a lot of food magazines. Occasionally I’ll pick up one in the store or someone will give me one. It was in one of those magazines I remembered seeing a pasta with garlic sauce recipe. I should have saved it. In one of my “cleaning before company comes over” moments, I trashed a pile of magazines I had sitting on the counter. Perhaps some of you can relate. The house never is cleaner than when entertaining family and friends. Drop by unannounced and you will find those piles of clutter hanging out in different spots. *Ahem*

Pasta with Lemon Garlic Butter Sauce | Magnolia Days

Pasta with lemon butter sauce is meatless. I wanted to keep it light and fresh. Well, light as could be because it does have butter. You could go with all olive oil if you want. Although buttered noodles do have a special place in my food loving soul. I used arugula for this pasta for a change instead of spinach. I added pine nuts for a little crunch and because I think they go so well with lemon. Shaved parmesan tops it off. Use parmigiano-reggiano if you have it.

What pasta shape is your favorite? Does colored pasta strike your fancy? I’m glad it isn’t all the same. The shapes and colors make it fun and interesting too. Who knows what I’ll find next time I’m out and about. Stay tuned…

Pasta with Lemon Butter Garlic Sauce

A recipe for pasta with a lemon butter garlic sauce. It also has arugula, pine nuts, and parmesan cheese.

Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Author Renee


  • 12 ounces dried pasta
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Grated zest from 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 ounces baby arugula leaves about 3 cups
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • Shaved parmesan cheese for garnish


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain cooked pasta.
  2. In the same large pot over medium heat, melt the butter and cook an additional 1 to 2 minutes. If you want browned butter, cook until it has a light brown color. Add the garlic and thyme, stir, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Be careful not to over-brown the butter or garlic.
  3. Remove the pot from the heat. Add the olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, and salt. Stir to combine. Add the pasta, arugula, and pine nuts and toss to coat with the sauce. The arugula will wilt.
  4. Transfer pasta to a serving bowl, platter, or individual plates. Top with shaved parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

A recipe for pasta with a lemon butter garlic sauce. It also has arugula, pine nuts, and parmesan cheese.

Recipe Rating


Tuesday 29th of November 2016

Amazing!!!!!! My family loved this dish! Thank you for a clean eating recipe that is virtually foolproof! This a one pan meal! Did I mention it tasted fantastic and it was super easy to make? I forgot to add the flour and it still turned out wonderfully! I did not watch it closely enough; therefore it was a little drier than I would have liked. With that being said, it was completely my fault! The recipe is fantastic next time it will be 100%,as long as the cook doesn't get distracted!


Friday 18th of July 2014

I just made this for a quick, but oh-so-delicious supper! Very flavorful. I did not have arugula on hand so I subbed baby spinach. I will be munching on this all weekend. I plan to make it again next week and may add capers. What do you think?

Thank you!


Monday 21st of July 2014

Thank you SO much Casey from coming back and letting me know how much you enjoyed this recipe. I think capers would be a great addition to it.


Monday 21st of October 2013

Amazing!!!! I put some cherry tomatoes and mint in with everything minus the arugula and it turned out really good!!!


Saturday 26th of October 2013

Oh fantastic! And thanks for coming back and letting me know how much you enjoyed it.


Saturday 22nd of June 2013

THANK YOU THANK YOU!!! I have been looking all over for an easy lemon butter sauce that actually contains ingredients I have on hand. (minus the arugula...) This looks perfect. Tossing it with some cheese tortellini for dinner tonight!


Wednesday 19th of June 2013

What a great recipe. I cant wait to try it. I purchased some Lobster Raviolis from Trader Joes and was wondering if the Lemon Butter Sauce would be good with them. What do you think? Regards

Betty C.


Thursday 20th of June 2013

Oh yes. Lemon butter sauce would be perfect for lobster ravioli.