Brown Butter Pasta with a Kick

by Deedra Abboud in Main Dish
May 22, 2019 0 comments

One of the problems I face when cooking is there are only two of us eating and buying ingredients in small amounts (so it doesn’t go bad before we use it) is difficult. I try to buy ingredients and then focus meals around the ingredients on hand. As a result, I substitute a lot. Today, it was homemade breadcrumbs from sliced bread and arugula for parsley.


1 lb dry spaghetti

10 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided 2 and 8

1 cup bread crumbs (I made my own with 2 slices multigrain sandwich bread, toasted and placed in food processor… but you can use panko breadcrumbs too)

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (slight kick, more will make it spicier)

1 cup grated parmesan cheese

2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 tbsp coarsely chopped fresh parsley (I used arugula instead; and I put it in a food processor instead of chopping)


Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add pasta to the boiling water and cook according to the package instructions until just barely al dente. (I recommend using very large pot and whole spaghetti, don’t break in half.)

Drain pasta and set aside.

Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large, high-sided skillet over medium heat until foaming. Add the breadcrumbs (keep a couple of teaspoons of it aside for garnish) and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes.

Wipe skillet with a paper towel. Melt the remaining 8 tablespoons butter in the same skillet over low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon so that it melts evenly.

Once the butter begins to foam and form brown bits, add the garlic and red pepper flakes. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until the butter is browned with a nutty aroma. Remove skillet from the heat.

Add the pasta and parmesan to the skillet and use tongs to toss together until the pasta is evenly coated with the brown butter and cheese. Add the reserved breadcrumbs, lemon juice, and arugula (or parsley). Toss to combine.

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