Easy Lemon Spaghetti Paired with Wheat Beer

This lemon spaghetti is a recipe my husband concocted when we were searching for something to eat from our very low stocked pantry. It stuck and has become a staple! Bonus: it goes REALLY well with wheat beers.

Andrew and I are about to embark on the 3rd week of our "mega-raging grocery budget". If you missed my last post, we have made it our goal to only spend $30 a week on groceries in order to super-save for a down payment on a house. And I'm not going to lie, friends, its tough. We are so close, but it is really hard not go out or even splurge on fancy meals at home. But it will be all worth it. I've got the first week's progress posted here if you'd like some inspiration to do some budgeting in your weekly meal planning. And today's lemon spaghetti recipe is featured on the meal plan for week 2.

Since this meal is so budget-friendly, I see us incorporating it into our weekly plan many times in the future. Its also great for one of those we-don't-have-anything-in-the-pantry kind of dinners.  Don't have fresh Parmesan or spinach? Not to worry! Just omit them or substitute something else. Just make sure you have a fresh lemon...

The Pairing

Wheat beer is my pick for this week's beer pairing. Did you know the traditional accompaniment to a wheat beer is actually not an orange slice, but a lemon wedge? Need I say more on why this beer pairs well with this dish?

There are wheat beers coming from all different parts of the world these days. The granddaddy of them all, however, would be our friend hefeweizen from Germany. Also referred to as weissebier, weissbier, and weizenbier, weizens  are generally unfiltered beers made from wheat with a special yeast strain that gives them flavors of banana, clove, or even bubblegum. The fruitiness of the beer gives it a refreshing character that lemon flavors accentuate.

Wheat beers that come from America generally have a little less banana and bubblegum flavor to them while accentuating more of a lemon or citrus note. They are often lighter in character than their European counterparts and have higher acidity, also making them a great match for this lemon spaghetti dish.

Craving wine with this lemon spaghetti? Check out my previous post on what wine to pair with lemon chicken...the same wine will work great with this too!

My Wheat Beer Suggestions

From Germany

  • Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier (used in this post)
  • Franziskaner Hefe-Weisse
  • Paulaner Hefe-Weizen
  • Hacker-Pschorr Weisse

From America

  • New Belgium Snapshot Wheat
  • Sierra Nevada Kellerweis
  • Harpoon UFO
  • Widmer Hefeweizen
  • North Coast Blue Star
  • Alaskan White

Be adventurous...the possibilities are endless with this pairing!

The Recipe

This dish keeps everything simple. Feel free to substitute some reserved cooking liquid from the pasta or chicken broth if you don't have any dry white wine. Add chicken if you need some protein!

Easy Lemon Spaghetti with Spinach

Author: Dani (CaretoPair.com)

Prep time: 5 mins

Cook time: 15 mins

Total time: 20 mins

Serves: 2

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb of spaghetti
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice (from fresh lemons)
  • 1/4 Cup dry white wine (or reserved cooking water or chicken broth)
  • pinch of black pepper
  • 1/2 Cup loosely packed fresh spinach leaves (optional)
  • freshly grated parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add the spaghetti and cook until al dente, about 7 minutes. Drain.
  2. After, heat the 2 Tbsp of olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Add the minced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the drained pasta to the skillet, the lemon juice, and a pinch of black pepper. When the oil has almost disappeared from cooking, add the 1/4 cup of white wine, chicken broth, or reserved cooking water from the pasta.
  3. If adding the fresh spinach, add it now. stir the pasta constantly until the spinach has wilted completely.
  4. Serve the spaghetti in individual bowls and top with grated parmesan cheese. Garnish with a lemon wedge (to squeeze over while you're eating!) and serve.

Happy Pairing!