Healthy Lunch Recipes

Here’s Why One-Pan Spicy Lemon Pasta Should Be Your New Anti-Inflammatory Main Squeeze

Photo: Stocksy/ Helen Rushbrook
At this point, it seems like every day, another viral TikTok recipe emerges. If you have a hard time getting around to actually making the recipes you save on the social media app before the trend has long come and gone, you’re not alone. However, every now and then, a new recipe emerges that’s almost too easy to resist because, truth is, you already have all of the ingredients on hand—so why not give it a shot?

Take cowboy caviar, for example. It’s a mix of beans and a boatload of veggies that taste great no matter what combination you decide. Plus, it’s filled with anti-inflammatory, protein-rich, and gut-friendly ingredients, making it a no-brainer to snack on all summer. But as the weather starts to get a little cooler and signs of fall start to make its presence known as the leaves begin to brown, it might be time for a soul-comforting dish like a big ol’ bowl of pasta. Am I right?

So, in the latest iteration of TikTok-famous recipes, we’ve seen lemon pasta climbing up the ranks of the recipes-from-social-media-you-actually-want-to-make leaderboard. This simple spicy lemon pasta recipe is made with some of the best anti-inflammatory and longevity-boosting ingredients we just can’t live without, like lemon, olive oil, chili pepper flakes, and garlic. The catch? Well, there really isn’t any, except this easy breezy lemon squeezy recipe is made in one pan, and cleanup is virtually nonexistent. 10 points to TikTok!

Why this one-pan spicy lemon pasta recipe should be your new main squeeze

In a recent TikTok stitch video by @mammaculinaria, Claudia shares a PSA with a few tweaks to TikTok’s number one minimalist guru, Emily Mariko’s lemon pasta recipe. Claudia says though there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with Mariko’s recipe, but that a few modifications can help make it even better. The trick? It’s all in the pan.. literally.

@mammaculinaria #stitch mit @Emily Mariko hopr you’ll see this and try it out ❤️#lemon#pasta#emilymariko#stitch#recipe#howto#learnontiktok#italianfood#amazing#foryou#viral#fup#fds#love ♬ Originalton - Mammaculinaria

For starters, Claudia says it’s best to use a very thin type of pasta. Think angel hair or capellini, which is what she uses in the video. The thinner, the better; this will help cook the pasta evenly and quickly. Next, she zests and juices lemons to extract the most flavor out of them, and loads of immunity-boosting vitamin C, too. Then, in a large pan, she heats a few tablespoons of heart-healthy olive oil, a small pat of butter, a healthy sprinkle of red chili flakes, garlic, salt, and a few ladles of salted boiling water before adding the pasta.

Once the mixture begins to sizzle and the flavors begin to infuse the oil, Claudia adds the uncooked pasta directly into the pan. Instead of boiling the pasta first, she says it tastes better if you cook it in the pan with the rest of the ingredients, which help infuse the pasta with loads of flavor and absorb the sauce. As the pasta cooks in the pan and the liquid evaporates, Claudia slowly adds a few more ladles of the salted boiling water, one at a time, into the pan to help cook it all evenly. Once the pasta is al dente (or cooked to be slightly firm to the bite), she adds lemon peel, basil, lemon basil, and lemon juice before giving it all a good toss.

The final product is a super refreshing spicy lemon pasta dish that’s so easy to make you can almost do it in your sleep. It is filled with loads of anti-inflammatory properties thanks to the phenolic compounds found in olive oil, the longevity-boosting capsaicin found in spices like red chili flakes, and boatloads of vitamins and minerals like vitamin B6 and magnesium found in garlic that help boost mood and brain function. So, basically, this recipe is a 10, but it’ll be the only way you’ll ever want to eat pasta ever again.

Anti-inflammatory one-pan spicy lemon pasta recipe

Yields 4 servings

Ingredients
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 tsp red pepper chili flakes
2 cloves garlic, sliced
Salt, to taste
17.6 ounces (500 grams) Capellini pasta
3 lemons, zested and juiced (separated)
1/2 cup lemon basil or basil (for garnish)

1. In a medium pot over high heat, boil three cups of salted water.

2. Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan over medium heat, bring the olive oil, butter, chili flakes, garlic, and salt to a simmer.

3. Once simmering, add the pasta and a few ladles of the hot, salted water at a time. Cook the pasta until it is al dente (about three minutes), adding ladles of hot water as needed.

4. Add the lemon zest, juice, and basil to the pan. Stir to combine.

Pasta, every day? Sign me up!

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