Spaghetti with Browned Butter and Mizithra

Do you ever have one of those things that once you discover it, you don’t know how you ever lived without it? That just happened to me. I, believe it or not,  just discovered browned butter and I think I’m in love. It’s so nutty and delicious  that it’s absence from my recipe repertoire for so long is pure blasphemy.  What do you do with browned butter you ask? Well, when you take the deliciously nutty concoction, pour it over steaming hot pasta and toss it with mizithra cheese you have an easy, scrumptious pasta that you won’t be able to get enough of.

Of course I had heard of browned butter before but had never made it at home. With a little research I discovered that it is really not that difficult to make. All you need is some butter, a pan without a black bottom so you can see butter browning and the patience to stand in front of the stove to watch the butter melt and turn brown. That last part is particularly important. If you don’t stand there and watch it, it can go from perfectly browned butter to not-so perfect black butter in a very short time. Black butter is used for some dishes but will have an entirely different taste than the nutty browned butter that you want for this recipe.  Simply watch your butter really closely and you will have an amazingly simple, delicious dinner.

Spaghetti with Browned Butter and Mizithra Recipe

Serves 4 Prep Time: Cook Time:

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound dried spaghetti
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
  • 1 cup grated mizithra cheese
  • fresh cracked black pepper and kosher salt
  • chopped fresh parsley

Instructions

1

Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, brown your butter.

2

In a stainless steel skillet or pot, heat butter over medium heat, As butter melts, it will foam slightly. Continue to cook until you notice little brown bits forming at the bottom of the pan. Stir the butter or shake the pan and continue cooking until the butter is a tan color and has a nutty aroma. Remove from heat and set it on a cool surface because it will continue to cook in the pan.

3

Strain your pasta and return it to the pasta pot. Pour browned butter over the top and sprinkle with mizithra cheese. Toss to combine. Season to taste with fresh cracked pepper and kosher salt.

4

Transfer to platter. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Notes

Note: The mizithra cheese doesn't really melt. So that is something to keep in mind when you are shredding it. I prefer the the medium sized shreds but you can also do a fine grate if you'd like. Enjoy!

Leave a Comment

  • Reply
    Tara
    June 7, 2013 at 11:07 am

    This was wonderful! I found Mizithra at my local cheese shop and found your recipe when looking for something to make with it. This is the first time I have tried browning butter and I am hooked. I love how something so simple can have so much flavor.

  • Reply
    Paul
    April 8, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    I worked at Spag Fac, made a ton of this over a couple of years. What it is: Imported Greek cheese, the owners are Greek, mixed with some Ramano cheese. The butter is simple clearified and browned butter. Put half a pound of butter in a double boiler and melt, skim off the stuff on top and pour off the clear butter (you can by this at the market, calld Glee), gently heat the clear butter and let it darken, DONT BURN IT ON HIGH TEMP!!! The butter should taste nutty and be a nice deep brown. Simply cook sapg, put the mixed grated cheese on top, spoon butter over it. Done.

  • Reply
    Laurie
    September 11, 2012 at 9:31 am

    My whole family liked it (and I have picky children).

  • Reply
    Cynthia
    March 22, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    It’s been years since I’ve had Mizithra cheese. I ‘d love to be able to find it at my food stores but have yet to. Love the Spaghetti Factory in Honolulu and my favorites were the Clam sauce and Mizithra cheese and the Mushroom sauce and Mizithra cheese. Yum!

  • Reply
    Alice
    October 18, 2010 at 5:53 am

    I make something similar with butter and a spoonful of Marmite (widely available here in the UK or from british foodstores). They say with Marmite that you “either love it or hate it” but I’ve never known anybody not love it with pasta – most don’t realise that it is marmite being used. The salty flavour with the butter makes it taste almost cheesy, and (aside from spaghetti cooking time) it takes about 2 minutes to make a huge pan-full of it.

  • Reply
    Jamie
    February 9, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    My grandmother used to make this, but she would also add ground cinnamon to it. I know it sounds strange, but I promise it’s super yummy!

  • Reply
    chris
    January 14, 2010 at 6:52 pm

    I just made this dish for me and my girlfriend and its great. It taste just like the spaghetti factory dish.

    • Reply
      Deseree
      January 15, 2010 at 7:23 am

      Thanks Chris! I’m glad you and your girlfriend liked it :)

  • Reply
    Teresa
    December 30, 2009 at 9:19 am

    So glad to see you do this dish. I’ve only attempted this once and it just wasn’t right. Can’t wait to try it your way although probably more Mizithra as I love that cheese. Mizithra just doesn’t taste as good in anything else and to me there is no substitue for it in this dish.

  • Reply
    Chad
    December 11, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    Takes me back to my childhood. I absolutely hated tomato sauce when I was a kid, so when my parents took me to Spaghetti Factory I would order this. Mizithra is sooo good. And you’re right, brown butter is wonderful! …Oh, and I love tomato sauce now that I’m all grown up.

  • Reply
    C. Karnitz
    December 11, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    I love browned butter! Make it all the time for a bit of pan fried ravioli. Thanks for the sharing!

  • Reply
    chocolate shavings
    December 11, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    Love brown butter!

  • Reply
    Deseree
    December 11, 2009 at 10:34 am

    Thank you everyone for your nice comments! Mizithra is a greek cheese that I usually find in the imported cheese section at my supermarket. If you can’t find it, there really is no substitute that will give you the exact same flavor but a blend of freshly shredded Parmesan and Romano cheese would be just as delicious.

    Neel- Thank you for asking before using it! We don’t mind if you use the photo as long as it links back to the recipe.

    Susan Marie- Thank you for that suggestion. That sounds wonderful!

  • Reply
    Susan Marie
    December 11, 2009 at 8:49 am

    I love pasta done simply like this! I, too, have just recently discovered brown butter – something else you can do is fry up fresh sage leaves in the butter as it browns, then toss them with the pasta.

  • Reply
    Neel | Learn Food Photography
    December 11, 2009 at 7:53 am

    What a simple photograph. wonderfully done. I recently posted 8 inspirational pasta shots. Would you mind if I use your photograph in the article?

    Here is the original post http://www.learnfoodphotography.com/2009/12/8-inspirational-pasta-shots/

  • Reply
    katklaw777
    December 11, 2009 at 2:23 am

    I have never heard of Mizithra cheese, is it a local specialty or a certain ethnic type?
    I would love to know more about it and please what to substitute if I can not find it In farm country, Illinois. USA. Thanks!

  • Reply
    J
    December 10, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    Twas also going to comment that this looks exactly like the spaghetti factory one that I rarely will let myself be treated to… now it will be even harder to stay away from!!!

  • Reply
    Jenn
    December 10, 2009 at 12:15 pm

    That looks soooo good!! Let’s say you can’t find Mizithra cheese, what would you recommend using?

  • Reply
    Mrs. L
    December 10, 2009 at 12:08 pm

    I’m with Lori as Spaghetti with Mizithra cheese is my favorite at Spaghetti Factory. Maybe my versions never came out because I didn’t brown the butter. I’ll have to give this a try.

  • Reply
    Phoo-D
    December 10, 2009 at 11:14 am

    This is such a simple and delicious recipe. Gorgeous photo too! (By the way I think it is Smitten Kitchen who has a recipe for browned butter apricot bars…it has been on my must try list for a long time.)

  • Reply
    Lori @ RecipeGirl
    December 10, 2009 at 11:11 am

    I’m in love with this spaghetti. It’s my favorite thing at Spaghetti Factory. I tried making it once myself & it didn’t seem to taste the same. Yours looks YUM!