I woke up this morning with a serious hankering for pasta. Something simple and flavorful. Before my first sips of coffee, I set a big pot on the stove to boil. The kitchen windows steamed against the grey, rainy mist outside. The pup scampered about as I looked through the pantry. Linguine. Garlic. Maybe some breadcrumbs? In the fridge I found butter, some herbs to use up. Parmesan. Definitely Parmesan.
The breadcrumbs toasted away in a big skillet. I stared at the remaining stick of butter. A brown butter sauce would be perfect…
Brown butter is simply butter that is cooked beyond its melting point. As it cooks, the milk solids separate from the butterfat, and begin to brown. These golden little flecks give the butter a deep amber tone, and this transformation leads to a richer, nutty flavor.
It was settled. I set about making a quick brown butter sauce with lots of garlic and sage. A few minutes of whisking and it was ready, golden-flecked and gorgeous. I tossed the warm pasta with the brown butter, and topped it with the toasted breadcrumbs, herbs, a happy dusting of Parmesan, and a pinch of red pepper flakes for good measure. A simple, comforting dinner, perfect for a chilly Winter day cooped up inside… and all before 8 a.m.!