Let me start by raising a glass to Diane Kochilas, queen of Greek cuisine.
Unbeknownst to her, she revolutionized my recipe. This epiphany was a game changer. My pasta was already delicious, but now it is delicious X 10!
Before I stumbled upon Diane’s video, I always made this dish the way my mom made it. After all, her people are from the island of Rhodes. They were obviously experts!
Yes, they knew what they were doing. We loved Mom’s browned butter pasta. We begged for it.
But Diane just put this recipe on steroids.
Yep. She puts a portion of hot pasta in a big bowl and pours some butter and feta on it. Then she covers that layer with more hot pasta, pours on butter and feta, and then does it again. The result is a rich, creamy melted feta sauce that you will want to lick off the floor.
Something that I do differently from my mom is use a large frying pan to brown my butter. The larger surface area seems to brown the butter better. And that’s important since its nutty flavor is integral to this recipe!
DO use real butter. Salted or unsalted? Your choice.
DO NOT–I repeat–do not buy pre-crumbled feta. Buy it as a block in brine. Get out a fork and crumble it yourself. You should be the one to unleash that sharp, tangy freshness.
You could use your choice of pasta, but I think you need something sturdier than vermicelli. I use spaghetti.
I also throw on some grated Parmesan (or Mizithra) which tends to add another dimension. In this recipe, grated Parm trumps shredded Parm. It sticks to the buttery noodles, coating them in deliciousness.
Then I top it with parsley for color and toasted pine nuts for a sweet-ish flavor and added texture. Watch your pignolia nuts when toasting. They will burn in a flash.
Let me know if you try this recipe! Leave a comment and tag your picture #nakedepicurean on Instagram so I can celebrate with you.
Greek Burned Butter Pasta
- 1 pound dried spaghetti noodles
- 2½ pounds of Greek feta in brine, crumbled (hold some to the side)
- ½-¾ cup salted butter
loads of grated Parmesan or Mizithra cheese
toasted pignolia nuts
freshly ground black pepper
- Cook pasta al dente. Drain.
- In a large frying pan, melt butter over medium heat. Butter will start to foam. Continue cooking and stirring until the foam subsides and the butter begins to turn brown and smell nutty, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat immediately and set aside.
- Add about ¼ pasta to a large bowl. Pour some of the browned butter over the pasta, then top with feta. Stir. Repeat these steps. Once you plate the pasta, top with more feta and parsley for presentation. Pass the pepper mill across the plate.
- Pass the grated Parmesan.