Lemon Pasta with Toasted Pine Nuts

If you read my most recent post, you’ll know my husband and I took a trip to Brooklyn, NY to celebrate my 30th birthday and a little babymoon last weekend. And as I mentioned in the post, my favorite meal was at this modern Italian eatery close to the hotel we stayed at.


Before booking our trip, I thoroughly researched restaurants and came across Lilia. After sifting through their menu online, I immediately clicked to make a reservation, but everything was booked – sigh! On our first night, we walked over and asked to put our names down, only to find we’d have to wait around two hours to be seated. We went back to our hotel and grabbed a bite there and decided to try again right when the restaurant opened to try to snag a seat at the bar.



My husband pretty much deemed me clinically insane, but I was insistent that this was the meal worth waiting for in Brooklyn. We got there ten minutes before the doors opened (20 minutes later than when the hostess recommended we arrived), and a line had already formed at the door and in their cafe area. When we went to put our names in, the hostess noticed I was pregnant and told me she had a table with our names on it – I was thrilled! Sometimes the bump works to my advantage.


We sat down and enjoyed homemade focaccia, roasted cauliflower, scallops and a homemade spaghetti with lemon, toasted pine nuts and parmigiano. It was everything I expected and more. Like I said, best meal of the trip, so if you’re ever in Brooklyn, do everything you can to eat at Lilia. I practically sold my unborn child just to get a seat at the table – ha! Kidding!


Obviously, this pasta is inspired by the homemade version we ate at the restaurant. Light, but cozy and the toasted pine nuts add the perfect crunch and warmth to the dish. If you end up making it, don’t forget to tag #marinamakeseats!

Lemon Pasta with Toasted Pine Nuts


  • 8 oz of spaghetti
  • Salt
  • 1/4 cup of pine nuts
  • 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1/4 cup of lemon juice
  • Pepper
  • 1/2 cup of parmigiano reggiano


Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Before adding the pasta, add about a tablespoon of salt to flavor the water. Add the pasta and cook until the al dente time listed on the box.

While the pasta is cooking, place the pine nuts in a small frying pan over medium heat. Stirring often, toast the pine nuts until they become fragrant and golden brown, about two to three minutes. Set aside.

When the pasta is done cooking, drain it, add the butter, lemon zest, juice, and a few pinches of salt to the pan. Add the pasta back to the pan and stir to combine. Plate the pasta and top it with freshly cracked pepper, parmigiano reggiano and the toasted pine nuts.

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