Recipe Review

I Tried The Pasta Queen’s “Lemon Temptress Pasta” and It’s Impossibly Simple and Delicious

published Aug 3, 2021
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
Credit: Sara Tane

If there is anything that I’ve learned from cooking The Pasta Queen’s recipes, it’s that simple is always better. Her dishes usually require only a few humble ingredients and come together very quickly, yet the final results are always nothing short of impressive and delicious. Her latest TikTok recipe, the lemon temptress, is just that: a straightforward, lemon-infused, one-pot pasta. I mean, how could I not try it out? Here is my journey to make this zesty, citrusy pasta dish.


The Lemon Temptress, a one pot pasta dish that will awaken your inner Italian #onepotrecipe #lemonwaterpasta #thepastaqueen

♬ original sound – The Pasta Queen

How to Make the Lemon Temptress Pasta

The first step of this pasta dish calls for infusing water with lemon peels and lemon leaves. This recipe could not have come at a better time, because I am a brand-new resident of Los Angeles and my favorite part of this city is the bounty of fruit trees casually planted throughout. One of my neighbors has a kumquat tree in their front yard and it boggles my mind to have such access to such an elite citrus. But, I digress. I went to visit a friend who has a lemon tree in her backyard, and I snagged a few lemons and their leaves.

Once I had procured my fresh goodies, I threw a couple of leaves and peels into a pot of water and brought it to a simmer, then put on the lid and let it sit for a few hours. To cook the pasta, I poured some of this lemon-infused water into an oval Dutch oven with a few glugs of oil and a big pinch of salt. Then I nestled in the spaghetti, letting it cook over medium heat and ladling in some more water when needed. I cooked the pasta al dente, then finished it off with grated lemon zest and Parm (in her video, she uses Provolone cheese but it’s not my thing, so I subbed a cheese that I prefer).

Get the recipe: The Lemon Temptress

Credit: Sara Tane

My Honest Review

True to the Pasta Queen’s style, this recipe was yet another simple, undeniably delicious dish. The one-pot technique worked like a charm — it was super easy to cook the pasta to the exact doneness that I like. The infused lemon water smelled amazing, and it provided a subtle, citrus fragrance to the entire dish. I cannot recommend this enough — it’s fresh, bright, and impossibly simple. Could you amp up the luxury of this dish and add in butter and cream? Sure, you could, but you certainly don’t need to because it’s wonderfully balanced as is.

Credit: Sara Tane

3 Tips for Making Lemon Temptress Pasta

  1. Don’t sweat the lemon leaves. I understand that not everyone has easy access to citrus straight off the branch (but as a fresh resident of LA, I simply can no longer relate). If you can only steep your lemon water in peels, then that’s totally fine.
  2. Use a big skillet or pot. Make sure it’s large enough to fit the long noodles. I used an oval Dutch oven which made it easy for the noodles to fit, but if you don’t have one, you’ll likely need to use a skillet that’s 12 inches in diameter or larger.
  3. Cook your pasta over medium to medium-low heat. Because spaghetti is such a thin pasta shape, it does cook rather quickly. To avoid any stickage issues or a gummy pasta texture, cook your noodles nice and slow over medium-low heat, slowly incorporating more water as needed.