Recipe: Pasta with Lemon-Orange Sauce, Easy on the Salt

For those on low-sodium diets, here’s a tasty trick: Grab some citrus.

Just like a sprinkle of salt, a squeeze of lemon, lime or orange will perk up any ingredient from leafy greens to proteins, not to mention grab the attention of your taste buds. And while you might not expect it, these fruits are at their best and brightest during winter, so now is still the perfect time to play with their tangy flash of flavor.

You can mix things up and use citrus in your favorite warm comfort dishes — including pasta. In place of a heavier alfredo sauce, the combination of warm citrus and olive oil offers a creamy coating for noodles that’s both lighter in calories and naturally low in sodium (as well as dairy-free — bonus!).

Keep the dish basic with a sprinkle of fresh herbs and cracked black pepper. Or dress things up with sauteed vegetables and roasted chicken. Best of all, be sure to enjoy this citrus pasta all year-round, adding avocado and corn during the summer months and squash during the fall.

Pasta with Warm Citrus Sauce

Serves 4

Ingredients:

8 oz uncooked spaghetti or fettuccine

Olive oil

2 garlic cloves, passed through a garlic press (about 1 tablespoon of minced garlic)

2 lemons, juiced and seed removed (1/2 cup juice)

2 large oranges, juiced and seeds removed (1 cup juice)

2 teaspoons honey

1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped

Freshly ground black pepper

Red pepper flakes (optional)

Directions:

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain the pasta from the pot and set aside in a large serving bowl.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until it turns golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape the cooked garlic out of the pan and into a food processor or blender. Set aside.

In the same saucepan, add the lemon juice, orange juice and honey. Increase the heat and boil the mixture for 5 minutes. Then lower the heat to a simmer and cook until the sauce starts to reduce and thicken, another 5 minutes.

Add the sauce to the food processor or blender with the cooked garlic and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Allow the mixture to cool just a bit, about 5 minutes. Then blend until well combined and smooth. Add the citrus sauce and the basil to the pasta. Gently toss and serve while warm.

Sodium content: Uncooked spaghetti: 0 mg sodium, depending on brand; lemons: 0 mg sodium; oranges: 0 mg sodium

Related Links:

Jessica Goldman Foung began the blog SodiumGirl.com to capture her adventures in a low-sodium life. She regularly writes about salt-free flavor tips and ingredient swaps and is the author of Sodium Girl’s Limitless Low-Sodium Cookbook.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Easy Pasta with No-Cook Sauce — Meatless Monday

Ideal for Meatless Monday dinner, Food Network's Melissa d'Arabian prepares a simple, fresh summer pasta with a no-cook sauce of tomatoes and olives.

Easy Pasta e Fagioli Soup

Pasta e fagioli is an Italian dish that means "pasta and beans." This version is low in saturated fat and crammed with fiber, boasting 16 grams per serving.

Easy Healthy Recipe Swaps

Katie Cavuto Boyle shares her simple swaps for upping the health factor in your favorite recipes.

The Easiest Pasta Ever (Really)

Learn the secret to making Geoffrey's simple pasta dinner in a hurry.

Finish Pasta in the Sauce

Hot Tips From Food Network Kitchens’ Katherine Alford: Drain your pasta when it's just al dente, then cook it for a minute or two more in a skillet with the sauce.

Spotlight Recipe: Pasta Puttanesca

I got spoiled this summer, getting to come home and have access to fresh ingredients, a full kitchen and, of course, free time to cook. However, going back to school doesn’t mean we college students can’t still enjoy a good, healthy meal! Pasta is a good ol’ standby, but this year, ditch the buttered noodles or Ramen packets and try this easy dish – it’s sure to earn you an A from your roommates or friends. Make it in bulk you and eat for a few days. Capers, anchovy paste and arugula might not be usual pantry staples, but you shouldn’t have trouble finding them at the local supermarket.

Recipe Infographic: Easy Strawberry Shortcake

Follow Food Network Kitchen's go-to recipe to turn out a winning strawberry shortcake.

Spotlight Recipes: Vegetarian Pasta Dishes

Good old pasta dishes can easily be turned into a vegetarian dish. Problem is, pile in tons of cheese and large portions of pasta and watch the calories and heart-clogging saturated fat go through the roof (yes, even vegetarian recipes can be unhealthy!). There are ways to lighten up your lasagna and macaroni and cheese but here are a variety of vegetarian pasta dishes that are delicious and figure-friendly.

50 Things to Make With Pasta Sauce

Food Network Magazine has taken a household staple and provided 50 different ways to incorporate it into recipes like Spanish rice, minestrone soup and Italian meatloaf.

On TV

The Pioneer Woman

9:30am | 8:30c

Cupcake Wars

10am | 9c

Cake Wars

11am | 10c

Cake Wars

12pm | 11c

The Pioneer Woman

1:30pm | 12:30c

Beat Bobby Flay

2:30pm | 1:30c

Beat Bobby Flay

3:30pm | 2:30c

Beat Bobby Flay

4:30pm | 3:30c

Beat Bobby Flay

5:30pm | 4:30c

Beat Bobby Flay

6:30pm | 5:30c

Chopped

7pm | 6c

Chopped

9pm | 8c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Beat Bobby Flay

10pm | 9c

Beat Bobby Flay

10:30pm | 9:30c

Beat Bobby Flay

11:30pm | 10:30c

Chopped

12am | 11c

Beat Bobby Flay

1:30am | 12:30c

Beat Bobby Flay

2:30am | 1:30c

Mystery Diners

4:30am | 3:30c

Food Network Apps

In the Kitchen

Get over 70,000 FN recipes on all your mobile devices.

Facebook Messenger

Ask our bot for recipes, meal ideas and daily food trivia.

Amazon Echo

Just say "Alexa, enable Food Network skill" to get started.