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A close up of capellini with garlic lemon and parmesan with a fork.

Capellini with Garlic, Lemon and Parmesan

Teri & Jenny
A simple and delicious recipe of Capellini pasta with Garlic Lemon and Parmesan is the perfect weeknight dinner that can be made in less than 30 minutes.
5 from 21 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Total Time 17 mins
Course dinner
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4
Calories 368 kcal


  • ½ pound capellini
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 lemon zested and juiced
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • lemon zest
  • red pepper flakes
  • grated Parmesan


  • Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil.
  • Add a handful of salt followed by the pasta and boil for 5 to 6 minutes or until the pasta is cooked through.
  • Drain and set aside, Reserving 1/2 cup pasta water.
  • Place a large skillet over medium heat and add butter. Once butter has melted add shallots and garlic and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Add pasta and pasta water and season with salt and pepper and toss together for 1 minute. Lower heat to medium. Add lemon zest and juice and continue to sauté for 2 minute. Finish pasta with additional lemon zest, a sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes and a generous amount of freshly grated Parmesan. Toss together and serve.



  • Is Capellini the same as angel hair or thin spaghetti? While similar, angel hair is actually thinner than capellini. Capellini is also thinner than thin spaghetti. Either would make a fine substitute. 
  • Seasoning the pasta water with salt is very important. As the pasta absorbs the water, when boiling, it will flavor the pasta internally. You'll also need less salt in the overall dish.
  • Adding some of the starchy pasta water to the skillet will help to thicken the butter 'non-sauce' and nicely coat the pasta in the overall dish.
  • Using butter in this recipe instead of oil adds a subtly nutty flavor to the dish without having to worry about low smoke point since the heat doesn't go above medium and the overall skillet cook time is relatively short.


Calories: 368kcalCarbohydrates: 46gProtein: 8gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 6mgPotassium: 189mgFiber: 3gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 175IUVitamin C: 15mgCalcium: 23mgIron: 1mg
Keyword pasta,
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