I’m the pasta maker, the magic pasta maker.
Although I suppose I must be fair and admit it is not actually me who makes the magic. Nope. It’s the butter.
Yes, the butter. I might have, oh, gushed a little about brown butter before, but that was back then. Back when I hadn’t realized its full power. When a little gushing seemed like enough. Now, I have experienced the truth and I am here to tell you: it is magic. All it takes is a spoonful or two, and a plate of pasta becomes an intoxicating, complex, utterly delicious thing.
If you have never tasted the magic of brown butter on pasta before, it may be best to start in a low-key way. I cannot be sure, but suspect a blown mind might result if you move straight into the hard-core. So, try this (serves two- based on a recipe by Dinner: A Love Story): Brown a pan full of thinly sliced onions. I know it sounds like a lot, but it works. A gentle medium heat, some salt to stop the onions from catching and a splash of olive oil should do it. Well, along with some patience, because it will take at least twenty minutes for the onions to caramelize.
While the onions brown, bring a pot of water to a boil. When it boils, add enough pasta for two and cook for the amount of time the package specifies. Add a bag of spinach two minutes before the cooking time is up. Mix a few large spoonfuls of Greek yogurt with a small clove of pressed garlic.
And then you make some magic: take a nice chunk of butter (I think 30 gr should do it, but perhaps it is best to err on the side of generosity) and melt it in a thick-bottomed pan. Cook until it is a hazelnut color and smells fantastic- this takes roughly 7 minutes. It helps to scrape the bottom frequently during the last few minutes so the solids brown evenly. Pour into a bowl when it is brown to prevent the brown from turning into black.
When the pasta is cooked and the spinach has softened, thoroughly drain them. By this point, the onions should be nicely browned. Mix most of them and the garlicky yogurt into the pasta-spinach mix. Turn onto two plates and top with the rest of the onion.. Take your magic butter and sprinkle it over the plates. Add some toasted pine kernels, if you like. Finish with a light sprinkle of salt, tuck in and smile, smile, smile.
Stay tuned for the big time of brown butter magic, soon.