Lemons are famous on the Amalfi coast, and they are some of the largest lemons I've ever seen. They are very juicy and have a hint of sweetness. The souvenir shops in Amalfi sell all kinds of lemon shaped souvenirs as well as scented soaps, creams, lemon-infused olive oil, and of course limoncello.
Italy is one of the most traveled to countries in the world, and it’s no wonder with all the movies it shows up in! From A Good Woman (Amalfi Coast), Only You (Amalfi Coast), Under the Tuscan Sun (Positano and Tuscany), The Italian Job (Northwestern Italy), The Godfather (Northeast Sicily), The Talented Mr Ripley, A Room With A View, Tea With Mussolini, Much Ado About Nothing, the 1950’s hit Roman Holiday, Letters to Juliet, the James Bond film Quantum of Solace, and of course the first stop in Eat, Pray, Love.
You can even grab a travel guide for Italy, such as Fodor's The Amalfi Coast, Capri & Naples, Rick Steves Snapshot Naples & the Amalfi Coast: Including Pompeii, or Lonely Planet Naples, Pompeii & the Amalfi Coast (Travel Guide). Learning more about the culture of Italy using the Italy - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture book is also recommended!
When we went to the island of Capri, just a boat ride away from Amalfi, we had read about an amazing lemon pasta with the perfect amount of creaminess. Unfortunately the blog we read didn't have the restaurant name and only mentioned that it was on the promenade at Marina Grande. That blog also had misleading information about the Blue Grotto so I'm not going to link it here.
Anyway, we were really interested in finding this lemon pasta so we walked up and down the promenade asking the restaurants if they had it on their menu. None of them had it! We were going to give up, but then one of the waiters at Bar Aprea confidently told us that the chef could make it for us even though it wasn't on the menu. He said it would be 15 euros/plate. Yes, that's a bit pricey for pasta but about average for the prices on Capri.
The lemon cream was refreshing and BURSTING with lemon flavor. Sadly the spaghetti was slightly undercooked – the center was still slightly crunchy rather than al dente. But the sauce with the extra lemon zest was amazing. Was it worth 15 euros? Probably not. Mostly because the portion was small – even after eating a dessert and a self-packed granola bar, we were still very hungry (and we don't generally eat much).
BUT it did inspire us to try to make it ourselves. I found a recipe that seemed easy enough and tried it out. It turned out pretty well. The sauce didn't initially turn out to be as zesty as the one at Bar Aprea, so next time I think I'll add more lemon zest. Adding a little lemon pulp seemed to help. Also after searching the internet a bit more afterwards, some recipes also include the lemon pulp, so maybe I'll include more pulp next time as well. 0,39€ spaghetti, 1,15€ lemon, 1,85€ heavy cream, 0,35€ shallots = **approximately 3,74€ for TWO large portions of lemon cream pasta. That's 1,87€ vs. 15€ per person.
**I didn't include the cost of the olive oil, salt, and pepper as they were provided in our Airbnb kitchen.
The simplicity of the recipe, the portion sizes, and the ultimate savings makes Lemon Cream Pasta an "Eat in" winner in our books. How about you? Would you rather Eat in or Eat out?
If you're still craving lemon cream flavor then this Amalfi gelato will really hit the spot! If anyone has an easy lemon gelato recipe, let us know in the comments!
Do you want to tour the Amalfi Coast?
An extremely affordable day trip to Capri runs less than $200! Check out the “Capri Day Trip from Sorrento with Blue Grotto” tour.
You could see Capri (including the Blue Grotto) on a 5 day super-adventure of the Amalfi coast that includes the Path of the God’s hike. Check out the “Walking with the Gods“ tour for details.
Only have 3 days? Pack in an amazing adventure in Capri along with visiting Sorrento, Positano and Pompeii for under $300. Check out the “Meet Us There - Amalfi Coast” tour for details.
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Jenny & Bradley of EatWanderExplore