This pasta dish is what lemons are made for.  It takes what would normally be a heavy dish and somehow makes it taste like a light summer treat.  Which is hard to do with two cups of sour cream!  I use low-fat and fat-free sour cream, so maybe that does the trick.  No, it’s the lemons.

Before making this dish for the first time, I thought what I’m sure everyone else is thinking: how could this possibly taste good?  Lemon, sour cream, cheese, and pasta.  Such an odd combo to put together.  But since I love lemon, when I saw it on The Pioneer Woman‘s website, I figured there wasn’t much to lose.  And all of my worries were just silly!  The dish is delicious!
 
 

I’m sure that this would be good with shrimp or chicken, too, if you are one of those people who needs protein in every meal.  I’ve never made it with meat, but I would imagine that adding shrimp would give it a shrimp scampi kind of taste.  I’ve also read a recipe that adds fresh tomato, but I am not so sure about how that would taste.  I’ll let you know if I ever try it!

Baked Lemon Pasta (from The Pioneer Woman Cooks):

Ingredients

1 pound spaghetti (I used whole wheat and it was just as good)
4 tablespoons Butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 whole lemon, juiced and zested (I actually used two lemons and used the juice of the second for the “extra juice” below)
2 cups sour cream
½ teaspoons salt, or more to taste
plenty of grated parmesan cheese
flat-leaf parsley, chopped
extra lemon juice (see lemons above)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook spaghetti until al dente.

In a skillet, melt butter with olive oil over LOW HEAT. When butter is melted, add minced garlic. Squeeze lemon juice into the pan. Turn off heat.

Add sour cream and stir mixture together. Add lemon zest and salt. Taste, then add more salt if necessary. Pour mixture over drained spaghetti and stir together, then pour spaghetti into an oven safe dish.

Bake, covered, for 15 minutes. Then remove foil and bake for an additional 7 to 10 minutes. (Don’t bake too long or the pasta will dry out.)

When you remove it from the oven, squeeze a little more lemon juice over the top. Top generously with Parmesan cheese, then chopped parsley. Give it a final squeeze of lemon juice at the end.

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