Our yiayia first introduced us to her magic recipe for burnt butter pasta. The real secret behind this incredibly decadent, silky pasta is that it is in fact one of the easiest dishes to prepare. A staple in Greek homes, and our mom’s favorite meal, all you need is a few ingredients for a speedy weekday dinner.
By slowly heating the butter over the stove, it is transformed into a nutty, amber sauce which when tossed with warm pasta and cheese, creates an incredible richness and depth. We use Kefalotiri cheese for its mild, salty flavor, but feel free to substitute Parmesan or any hard grating cheese. Any long pasta will do, but we recommend using delicate Angel Hair which allows for more butter and cheese in every bite.
The first twirled forkful of buttery, cheesy, golden pasta always brings us back to Yi’s aromatic kitchen.
Burnt Butter Pasta
1 stick unsalted butter
1 c finely grated Kefalotiri cheese (Parmigiano Reggiano or any other hard, grating cheese)
1 lb Angel Hair pasta
3 thick lemon peels (cut from a fresh lemon with a paring knife)
salt and pepper throughout
Cut butter into pieces and place in a large saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a slow boil. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon, allowing the butter to bronze. The butter will foam a bit after the first 5 minutes or so. Throw in the lemon peel. Keep cooking and stirring for a few more minutes until the melted butter is a rich amber color. Remove from heat.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta as directed until al dente. Strain and toss with the browned butter, Kefalotiri cheese, salt and pepper. Serve immediately with extra cheese for sprinkling. Serves 6-8.
Simple and delicious!