Looking for a quick dinner to throw together in under a half hour – or, if you’re me, the night before you roll out to a vacation you only just got approved for the day before? Or for something super simple? Or super cheap? Or summery feeling? Really, you can’t go wrong with this. I didn’t quite have all the ingredients for this, or follow the directions exactly, but it still worked out pretty damn well, I’d say. 

Spaghetti with Lemon and Olive Oil


  • 1 lb spaghetti (if you can find pot-sized spaghetti, it’s going to help lots)
  • sea salt
  • 3 lemons, zested and juiced (about .5 c lemon juice)
  • .25 c olive oil
  • .25 c heavy whipping cream (I tried to substitute just milk, forgot to add melted butter to thicken it, whoops)
  • .5 c grated Parmesan cheese (or parmigiano reggiano, if you have it on hand)
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • dried Greek oregano

Heavily salt your water, bring to a boil, and cook according to your pasta’s directions. While the water comes to a boil/the pasta cooks, zest and juice your lemons. 

Once the pasta’s done, drain your pasta, but retain about 1.5 c of pasta cooking water (I didn’t do this. whoops.)  Take the same pot you made the pasta in, dry it out, and then boil the olive oil, whipping cream, lemon zest, and 1 c of the reserved cooking water together for two minutes. Return your drained pasta to the pot, and toss until completely coated. Add the cheese and lemon juice back in, and toss to coat completely again, adding in a bit of extra sea salt, pepper, and the oregano, if you’re so inclined. 

And then, enjoy your simple, citrusy, summery pasta!

This is basically like a risotto, except substitute red wine for the soup stock, and pasta for the rice.  You cannot go wrong with a good 3 cups of red wine, absorbed into your pasta, trust me.  I went with Yellow Tail’s Sweet Red Roo for this, but anything light and dry will do well with this.

The original recipe recommends two different cheeses to put into this at the end, both of which are ridiculously expensive.  We have a nice little cheese shop out on the Square here, and I was able to get a recommendation for something just as good, and not quite as expensive – Sarvecchio parmesan (look it up).  I actually got a bigger brick than I needed – about half for this recipe, and the other half for me.

Red Wine Spaghetti


  • 1 lb spaghetti
  • .25 c olive oil
  • 3 c red wine (I used Yellow Tail’s Sweet Red Roo)
  • .75 c good quality cheese, grated (I used Sarvecchio parmesan, original recommended parmigiano reggiano or pecorino romano)

Bring a pot of water to a boil, and cook your pasta according to the directions on the package.  Drain the pasta, and add the olive oil, heating to medium and adding the pasta back in, tossing until coated.

Add your wine in half a cup at a time, stirring until absorbed.  Once you’ve added all your wine, stir in your cheese, and serve!  Quick, cheap, boozy, and all things considered, pretty easy to make!