26 Nov Zesty Lemon Spaghetti

With Christmas just around the corner, everybody’s waistline is in danger! Whether you celebrate it or not, chances are you’ll find yourself surrounded by delicious food. It’s okay to let go from time to time, so long as you don’t overdo it. So, in the spirit of Christmas, here’s a not-so-diety recipe, which still has less calories than most pasta dishes out there!

Contrary to what many people believe, nutritionists and dietitians still eat like normal human beings. It’s not all low-calorie, hyper-healthy foods, sometimes we just want something a little more sinful. I first tried a variation of this dish in a small family restaurant in New York. When I heard the words “spaghetti” and “lemon” in the same sentence, I wasn’t sure what to expect. When I ate it, however, it instantly became one of my favourite recipes.

The secret here is the lemon zest, which adds flavour, aroma and a few vitamins to the recipe.

Ingredients (for 4 people)

  • 350gr dried spaghetti (ideally wholemeal, but white will do)
  • ½ cup of lemon juice (80mls)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil) (60mls)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest (see tip*)
  • 80gr grated pecorino cheese
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 8 basil leaves (optional)



  • Deep pot to boil spaghetti
  • Colander
  • Grater
  • Tablespoon
  • Large bowl
  • Cup


  1. Boil spaghetti in salted water
  2. With a spoon, fill 1 cup with the boiling water from the spaghetti
  3. Dry spaghetti with colander and leave aside
  4. In a large bowl, pour ½ of the water from the cup
  5. Add lemon juice
  6. Slowly add 4 tablespoons of olive oil and the grated cheese, while slowly stirring
  7. Stir until the mixture becomes a uniform thick cream. If cream seems too thick, add some more water from the cup.
  8. Pour the cream in the pot you used to boil the spaghetti.
  9. Add the spaghetti from the colander to the pot again, stirring so that the pasta is fully mixed with the cream
  10. Add 2 tablespoons lemon zest, salt and pepper to taste, and you can also add 8 fresh basil leaves (optional).
  11. Stir carefully with slow movements.
  12. Serve immediately.


Love My Kilos Tip:

To get lemon zest simply grate the surface of the lemon until its juicy inside shows. Once the inside is visible, you need to grate a different side of the lemon. Always use un-waxed lemons for zest. The problem is that a lot of the lemons sold commercially are usually waxed. Either try to ensure that you can find a source of un-waxed lemons, or take some extra time to remove the wax yourself.

How to remove wax from lemons:

  1. Boil some water
  2. Put lemons in colander
  3. Pour boiling water over lemons
  4. Scrub lemons with a brush or a sponge
  5. Rinse with cold water
  6. Leave them to dry, or dry them with a towel


Calories: 510 kcals per portion

Protein: 15 grams per portion