Brown the Butter

Brown butter sounds like the old tongue twister, right? 

Betty Botter bought some butter,
"But," she said, "If I brown this butter,
It would make my batter better... 

Last year was the awaking of "brown butter," as I read many recipes from various publications, from Bon Appetit to the New York Times. There were brown butter ideas and recipes: use it to fry eggs, a splash in pancake batter, on top of oatmeal or other morning grains, pour over popcorn, use it toast grilled cheese sandwiches, stir it in mashed potatoes, roast vegetables, and prepare tarts and cookies instead of regular butter. 

My first encounter with brown butter was back in the 1980's at a chain spaghetti joint. I was looking for something a little lighter than a cream sauce or a rich marinara and there it was - - brown butter over spaghetti and topped with shredded Myzithra cheese; a very salty hard sheep cheese with origins from Greece.  It's also easy to prepare.

1 pkg. (1 pound) dry spaghetti or linguine
2 cubes REAL butter
1/2 to 3/4 lb. Myzithra cheese, grated

Cook pasta in a large pot of salted, boiling water as per package or until al dente. Drain. While pasta is cooking, start slowly melting butter over medium heat until brown. The butter will foam up and rise, but just keep stirring until it turns brown. 
   Remove pan of butter from heat and allow the sediment (milk solids) to settle at the bottom of the pan for a few minutes. Do not stir up the sediments in the pan, keep the clear butter separated from the sediment at the bottom of the pan. Pour the browned butter into a separate bowl. 
   Toss the pasta with the finished butter, and top with grated Mizithra cheese to taste. For a little color, sprinkle fresh chopped parsley on top of pasta. Serve immediately.

If you're a butter browner, let me know some of your favorites. 


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