Pasta With Brown Butter and Parmesan
Sometimes you just want a big bowl of pasta with butter and Parmesan. Starchy, silky and salty, it’s always good — and practically foolproof. To make it a little more grown up, just take it one step further: Brown the butter. When you slide the butter into the skillet, let it cook until the milk solids turn a toasty brown. It adds a rich, nutty flavor that makes the dish a bit more sophisticated with very little extra work.
- Serves: 4 persons
- Kosher salt
- 1pound spaghetti, linguine or other long noodle
- 8tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
- Freshly ground black pepper
Step 1Bring a large pot of heavily salted water (2 heaping tablespoons kosher salt to about 7 quarts water) to a boil. Add pasta to boiling water and cook according to package directions until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta, but don’t shake it fully dry.
Step 2In a skillet or Dutch oven large enough to hold the pasta (and preferably with a light-colored bottom so you can see the butter solids brown), melt the butter over medium heat. Cook, swirling occasionally, until the foam subsides, the milk solids turn golden-brown and it smells nutty and toasty, 3 to 4 minutes. (Watch carefully to see that it does not burn. If it does, start over.) Remove from heat immediately.
Step 3Add the cooked pasta to the skillet and toss with the brown butter. Stir in the cheese until melted. Stir in pasta water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the pasta is glossy with sauce (you probably won’t need the full 1/2 cup).
Step 4Serve with black pepper and more Parmesan on top.