Spaghetti with lemon, Parmesan & peas

Spaghetti with lemon, Parmesan & peas

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(11 ratings)

Takes 20-30 minutes


Serves 2
This super healthy vegetarian pasta dish is quick to make, and makes the most of your store cupboard ingredients

Nutrition and extra info

  • Vegetarian
  • Healthy


  • kcal420
  • fat11g
  • saturates3g
  • carbs61g
  • sugars0g
  • fibre5g
  • protein22g
  • salt0.83g


  • 140g spaghetti
  • 100g frozen petits pois or garden peas
  • 2 tsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 1 small onion, finely chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 100g low-fat soft cheese with chives and onion
  • 1 lemon, finely grated zest



    Oval in shape with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile…

  • 3 tbsp finely grated parmesan (or vegetarian alternative)



    Parmesan is a straw-coloured hard cheese with a natural yellow rind and rich, fruity flavour. It…

  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh flatleaf parsley


  1. Bring a large pan of lightly salted water to the boil. Feed in the spaghetti and cook for about 10-12 minutes, until just tender. (Check the pack instructions for timings – 'quick cook' spaghetti takes only 3 minutes.) Add the peas for the last 2-3 minutes.

  2. At the same time, heat the olive oil in a saucepan and fry the onion gently until softened and cooked, but not brown. Stir in the soft cheese and warm it through, adding 3 tbsp of the pasta cooking water to thin it down. Now stir in the lemon zest and 2 tbsp of the Parmesan.

  3. Drain the spaghetti and peas really well, return them to the pan and gently stir in the sauce. Season with salt and pepper, then pile it into 2 serving bowls. Sprinkle the parsley and the remaining Parmesan over the top and serve right away, with a mixed leaf salad.

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Comments, questions and tips

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22nd Feb, 2014
Sauce is far too thick - would add more water, milk or cream next time. Does taste nice though.
22nd Mar, 2016
I used part skim ricotta instead of cream cheese and it wasn't too thick. It was perfect.
30th Aug, 2013
really tasty! i forgot to add the water from the cooked pasta which meant the sauce was quite sticky so make sure you do that! i think adding milk would also help. I cooked the onions in a little bit of white wine for some extra richness which was really tasty :)
20th Feb, 2013
I think adding cold frozen peas to the boiling pasta was a mistake - it lowered the water to below the boil, and meant that the pasta began to stick together (in spite of stirring) as well as making it hard then to judge the timing of cooking the pasta. I am also mystified as to why this recipe (which I quite liked) is described as 'super healthy' since it consist mainly of low-fibre starch in the form refined wheat flour, plus two kinds of high fat cheese in addition to the olive oil - and very little in the way of vegetables (just a handful peas), which are frozen, not fresh.
13th Aug, 2012
Not really very happy with this. The sauce has a claggy texture. I tried to sort it by adding a bit of olive oil but it was too late. Test it before you serve it. Maybe a bit if milk in the sauce before you add it to the spaghetti would improve the texture.
21st Mar, 2011
This is my new favourite quick mid-week dinner. Delicious. I too add a bit more water than stated but also add leek & asparagus to the onion, to bulk out the sauce a bit.
30th Jan, 2011
Simple and delicious. I always make this when I want a quick, easy meal as I usually have all the ingrediants in. It's so rich and creamy it's hard to believe it's healthy and low fat. I add a little bit more cream cheese than stated and plenty of water to ensure the sauce isn't too dry. I sometimes add prawns which makes it even more tasty. Can't go wrong with this dish. :)
17th Oct, 2010
I thought this was really dry and did not like it at all. The addition of smoked salmon is a good suggestion, it would be a nice dish as a salmon carbonara: 2 eggs, 2 tbsp cream and 30g Parmesan mixed with the parsley (or dill if you like it).
2nd Jul, 2009
simple, made with penne, ok for midweek. Refereshing with the lemon.
26th Apr, 2009
A nice, simple mid-week supper x


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