To all my little Foodies I’ve been neglecting: I’m here and ready with a brand-spanking new recipe for you. Before I created this recipe, I was following another recipe that had me boiling raw leeks, and I was not so into following boiling leeks. I’m more of a get them deliciously saute-ed in butter kind of gal. So I decided to make a split-second decision to shift gears. I was ready to seize the pasta day, and I most certainly did that with this fantastic lemon Cacio e Pepe (PS – Cacio is cheese and Pepe is pepper in Italian – so lemon, cheese, and pepper pasta)! This lemon Cacio e Pepe falls into the easy-peasy-pasta category along with this Kale pasta recipe that is a weeknight classic in this house. Get your veggies in but barely notice because it’s carbs and sauce?! Yep, that’s the perfect situation for me to eat my veggies; it’s the perfect situation for my daughter to eat her veggies too.

lemon cacio e pepe spaghetti pictured in a sauce pan

This lemon Cacio e Pepe regrettably doesn’t have a veggie component, so I recommend including a salad with dinner or slamming a green juice before eating this pasta if veggies are what you’re after. If they are not what you’re after and instead you’re looking for a scrumptious Cacio e Pepe that least you into the slow-coming summer, the recipe is ready below! Lemons away!

PS, if you’re Italian, I fully recognize that this isn’t actually a proper Cacio e Pepe.

lemon cacio e pepe spaghetti pictured in a bowl

Lemon Cacio E Pepe

Serves 4-6


  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 leeks, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 lemons, zested and juiced
  • 3 cups parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 x 400ish g package of spaghetti noodles (or pasta of your choice)
  • fresh ground pepper – like a lot
  • 1 cup reserved pasta water (you might need this)
lemon cacio e pepe spaghetti pictured in a sauce pan

  1. Cook your pasta per the package’s instructions.
  2. In a large saucepan (I used my Caraway Pan – LOVE – initial thought can be found here) over low-medium heat, heat your butter and olive oil. Add your diced leeks and sautee for 4 minutes.
  3. Add your garlic and saute for an additional 2 minutes.
  4. Add your lemon zest and lemon juice and remove from heat.
  5. Once your pasta is done cooking, put your saucepan back on over low-medium heat. Add your pasta to the saucepan, add your cheese and stir, stir, stir.
  6. If it feels a little dry, add some pasta water.
  7. Add your pepper. I like doing fresh ground pepper and I go until my noodles are nice and covered. 
  8. Serve warm!