The River Cafe's spaghetti with lemon




The River Cafe's spaghetti with lemon

Lemons, olive oil, basil ... the only other ingredient needed is sun.


  • 1/2 lb (250g) spaghetti
  • juice of 3-4 lemons , preferably Amalfi lemons
  • 2/3 cup (150ml) olive oil
  • 5 ounces (140g) Parmesan , freshly grated
  • 2 handfuls of fresh basil , leaves picked and finely chopped
  • finely grated lemon zest , optional


  • Cook the spaghetti in a generous amount of boiling salted water, then drain thoroughly and return to the pot.
  • Meanwhile, whisk the lemon juice with the olive oil, then stir in the Parmesan— it will melt into the mixture, making it thick and creamy. Season with sea salt and black pepper and add more lemon juice to taste.
  • Add the sauce to the spaghetti and shake the pot so that each strand of pasta is coated with the cheese. Finally, stir in the chopped basil and, ideally, some grated lemon zest.

Excerpted from River Café London: Thirty Years of Recipes and the Story of a Much-Loved Restaurant by Ruth Rogers, Rose Gray, Sian Wyn Owen and Joseph Trivelli. Copyright © Ruth Rogers and Rose Gray 1995. Published in the United States by Borzoi Books an imprint of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Penguin Random House LLC, New York. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.