Brown Butter Pasta

I grew up eating this brown butter pasta every week, sometimes every day when I had my way. This is my mother’s childhood version of macaroni and cheese.  A dish from her mother’s youth growing up in a small village in Greece.

Yia Yia Angelikoula Rooftop
Yia Yia Angelikoula

I love hearing the stories of my mother’s childhood and how the food they ate was made from scratch. Items that are simple staples to us today were a luxury to them. They lived off the land and what was readily available in season, often making their own butter and phyllo dough for baklava and spinach pie. They even crafted their own wine, as I am here with my uncle and grandmother below.

Making Retsina Wine
Making Retsina Wine

The cheese is the hidden star in this dish, it makes the brown butter radiate it’s deep full flavor. The key here is to use a good quality butter and hard cheese. I grew up eating this dish with a variety of cheeses, from the Greek Mizithra and Kefalotyri to Parmigiano-Reggiano and Porcino cheese. It really depends on your flavor palette and what you like best.

Brown Butter Pasta
Brown Butter Pasta

Because I love my mother so much, and because it’s national pasta day… I’m sharing our recipe for my favorite butter pasta with you.

Here’s what you ‘ll need:

1 box thin spaghetti

1 stick salted butter (1/2 cup)

1 cup Porcino cheese  (reserve 3 teaspoons for brown butter)

Prepare pasta per box instructions.  Once pasta is cooked, place a layer of pasta onto your serving dish, sprinkle with a generous layer of Porcino cheese, mix well. Repeat until all the pasta and cheese have been combined.

In a medium saucepan, on medium-high heat, add the butter and remaining 3 tsp of cheese, melting until the butter begins to bubble and turn golden brown. Remove from heat and pour generously over the pasta. Serve warm with bread.

As long as I could remember, everyone from relatives, neighbors and friends would request this pasta dish when visiting. A simple recipe that carries some of the most beautiful memories. I plan on making this pasta dish for friends this weekend.  I am grateful for my mother and my Yia Yia, and for their delicious recipes that have been passed down through generations.

9 thoughts on “Brown Butter Pasta

  1. I think our family history is similar but mine Italian. My Mom also made a simple pasta dish similar to yours. I love the brown butter, it takes this simple dish to another level with that wonderful nutty flavor and the Porcini cheese is such a great choice. Love this.

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