Lemon pasta a la Sophia Loren, vegan and gluten-free 

I’m guessing Sophia Loren would get dizzy if she found out about my experiment with her famous lemon pasta recipe. However, her own words inspired me to do this;  ‘never be a slave to recipes, try, taste, modify, incorporate local ingredients, use family favourites, wonder out loud…’ 

Sophia probably didn’t expect someone to change her recipe as much as this, but I’m sure she forgives me for making it suitable for those who suffer from food allergies. 

This time I added some asparagus and grated parmesan. Delicious.


2 lemons, the juice


2-3 garlic cloves

2 handfuls of basil

1 cup Violife mozzarella cheese, grated

1/4 cup Violife parmesan cheese, grated

60 g Veganz cashew cheese, classic (no herbs)

1/2 cup oat milk

vegan butter for frying, a block from Naturli

salt and black pepper

250 g rice spirelli pasta, from Rapunzel


In a large pot, bring water to boil, add a bit of salt and then the rice pasta. Cook according to package directions. If you prefer you can use other types of gluten-free pasta, like quinoa pasta, chickpea pasta or lentil pasta instead. I prefer the rice pasta, but chickpea pasta works well too. Drain the water from the pasta in a colander.

Squeeze the juice from 2 lemons into a cup. Fill it up with water. Sophia Loren used the pasta water, but that doesn’t work as well with gluten-free pasta.

Chop the garlic and basil.

Melt a bit of vegan butter in a large skillet and fry the garlic for a tad. Be careful not to overcook it or else it will go bitter. 

Pour in the lemon juice and boil down a bit. It happens rather fast. 

Add the grated Violife cheese and stir while it’s melting into the liquid. In goes the oat milk and heat again to boiling point.

Once that’s done take the skillet off the heat and add the grated parmesan cheese and chopped basil. Stir while the cheese is melting and then add the boiled rice pasta. 

The dish is nice to have just like this, but I also like to add asparagus and/or smoked trout. Green salad is a perfect side dish.

This recipe is sponsored by Rapunzel.

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