The combination of garlic, spinach, tomato, hazelnuts and brown butter sauce in this Brown Butter Pasta is unforgettable. The perfect meatless dinner option.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe!
I fell in love with this Brown Butter Pasta at a local restaurant here in Portland and it quickly became my favorite pasta recipe. When they took it off the menu I knew I had to figure out how to make it at home. Brown Butter gives this pasta dish amazing flavor along with the combination of garlic, tomato, spinach and hazelnuts.
- Pasta. I usually use a spaghetti noodle. We prefer a thin spaghetti but you could use a regular spaghetti, angel hair, fettuccini or linguine noodle.
- Butter. I use salted butter but unsalted will also work.
- Vegetables. Tomatoes and Spinach. Use chopped tomato or cherry tomatoes cut in half. I like baby spinach and I remove the stems from the spinach leaves.
- Garlic. Use fresh, minced or chopped garlic cloves.
- Nuts. The original recipe called for hazelnuts but you could also use walnuts.
- Cheese. Freshly grated Parmesan or a Parmesan Romano Cheese is delicious.
- Kosher Salt and black pepper.
What is a Hazelnut?
Because I am an Oregonian I had some toasted hazelnuts in my pantry. Hazelnuts are the State nut for Oregon. If you can’t find hazelnuts where you live, walnuts make a great substitute.
How to Brown Butter
You can find a detailed tutorial on how to brown butter here.
- Place butter in a sauce pan over medium heat.
- Use a light colored pan so that you can see the change in color more easily. It can go from browned to burnt quickly so keep a close eye on it.
- Stir it constantly until it starts to turn golden brown and then remove it from the heat.
- Butter will begin to get foamy and then start turning brown. Don’t worry if there is sediment in the bottom of the pan that is fine, you can strain it off if you want but I just always add it in.
- Pour browned butter into a bowl so that it doesn’t continue to cook in the hot pan.
What does Brown Butter taste like?
Brown butter has a delicious nutty smell and flavor. It gives a richness and depth of flavor to anything it is added to.
How to Make Brown Butter Pasta
- Brown butter in a pan and set aside.
- Boil pasta to al dente stage in a large pot of water.
- In a large frying pan, saute garlic in olive oil.
- Add in spinach. As soon as it starts to wilt, add in the chopped fresh tomato.
- Add in cooked pasta, nuts and the garlic butter sauce mixture and toss to coat pasta.
- Top pasta with some freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Dinner doesn’t get much easier or more delicious than this!
- Garnish with some fresh parsley, fresh basil, oregano, red pepper flakes or fresh herbs of your choice if desired.
Tips from Leigh Anne
- Precook the pasta the night before or morning of so it is ready to go. Just cook it al dente (still a little firm) and then put it in a strainer and run water over it to remove the starch. Put it into a zip loc bag and refrigerate it. When you are ready to use it, put it back in the strainer and run some warm water over it and it’s ready to eat! Just add it into your browned butter sauce.
Frequently Asked Questions
To add some protein to it, top with sliced, grilled or shredded chicken. It would also be delicious with some shrimp or sliced steak added in.
Our favorite is thin spaghetti but you could use bucatini, linguine, fettuccini, angel hair or regular spaghetti.
I love the flavor of brown butter pasta, it is a nice change from a traditional red or alfredo sauce. Not bad for a last minute, throw together kind of dinner. So what are you making for dinner tonight?
For more delicious recipes easy dinner ideas try these:
Some other ways I like to use brown butter.
Brown Butter Pasta Recipe
- 1/2 cup butter
- 2 handfuls of baby spinach
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 cup chopped tomatoes
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese grated
- 1/2 cup hazelnuts toasted and chopped
- 8 oz. pasta cooked
- 1 tsp olive oil
- salt and pepper
- Brown the butter in a pan, watch closely so it doesn’t burn. Should be golden and smell wonderful. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Add olive oil to pan and saute garlic.
- Add spinach. Cook just until it starts to wilt.
- Add in tomatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add cooked pasta and and browned butter to pan. Toss to distribute evenly.
- Sprinkle with hazelnuts and cheese.
- Salt and pepper to taste
Tips & Notes:
Originally posted Oct. 3, 2012
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