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Whitney’s Legendary Lemon Linguine with Fried Capers & Basil

This is the most requested recipe from all of Whitney's Friends!

Whitney’s Legendary Lemon Linguine with Fried Capers & Basil

Why it's on our list

The origins of this pasta date back to Whitney's childhood when Momma Ashley bought a cookbook back in 1994 "In the Kitchen with Rosie: Oprah's Favorite Recipes" by Rose Daley. It was Whit's favorite pasta of all time! Flash forward to Whit's early 30's when Giada De Laurentiis debuted her lemon spaghetti recipe and the memories came rushing back! She began to make it for all her girlfriends at her one bedroom LA apartment dubbed the "Heart Break Hotel" as it was the ultimate single ladies apartment.

Whitney then began to experiment with the recipe by adding in some crunchy, salty elements like the fried capers which she believes creates the perfect pasta!


1 pound of fresh pasta - Whit prefers linguine

2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (good quality as this is the sauce)

2/3 cup grated Parmesan, plus more to garnish the pasta

1 tablespoon lemon zest (zest lemons before using for the juice)

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (about 3 lemons)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon lemon zest

1/3 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

Fried Capers

1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil

⅓ cup of capers drained

In a shallow high sided pan add the oil and the capers. Heat oil on low to medium heat. Occasionally shake the pan to move the capers around. You want to cook these till they are crispy but not burned, around 10-15 minutes. Remove capers from oil and place on a paper towel to remove excess oil.


This recipe goes pretty quickly so we suggest starting with the lemon sauce first. Add the Parmesan and lemon juice in a large bowl and whisk. Whisk in the oil. Add the zest and combine.

Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, about 4-5 minutes. Before draining the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Drain the pasta and return to the pot. Toss the pasta with the lemon sauce, if needed add the reserved cooking liquid, adding 2 tablespoons at a time as needed to moisten. Season with salt and pepper. Add fresh grated parmesan on top along with the fried capers. Garnish with chopped basil.


Serve it up!

What's your signature pasta dish? Send us a note!

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