A few beautiful ingredients turn into a luxurious, indulgent, and incredibly easy date night dish in just about 20 minutes. Hazelnut brown butter pappardelle is a recipe that’s sure to impress without breaking a sweat.
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 C peeled hazelnuts, roughly chopped
8 ounces of pappardelle (or long pasta of your choice)
1 T lemon zest
1/2 C chopped flat leaf parsley
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
2 ounces finely grated parmesan cheese
Juice of one lemon
Brown the butter in a large skillet. To do this, melt it over medium heat until it foams up substantially. Once the foaming dies down, swirl it frequently – keeping a close eye on it. You will notice the milk solids drop to the middle or bottom of the pan and begin to brown. Once it’s a light chestnut color, turn the heat to low and add your chopped hazelnuts. Stir and toast over low heat for five minutes, or until the nuts start to take on a little color
Drop your pasta in a pot of boiling, well salted water and cook one minute shy of the package directions. Before you drain the pasta, reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Drain the pasta and add it to the brown butter and nuts, along with half of the reserved cooking liquid. Toss thoroughly to coat the noodles, adding a little more liquid if it looks too dry. It should be just a little wetter that you want at this point.
Turn off the heat. Add the lemon zest, parsley, black pepper, and grated cheese. Toss to combine thoroughly. Then squeeze over the lemon juice, toss again, and serve immediately with an extra sprinkling of cheese.
Grate your cheese very finely, and do make sure to grate it yourself. If you use the pre-grated kind it’s likely to clump when it meets the heat, whereas a finely grated cheese will just melt into a light, buttery sauce.
If you can’t find peeled hazelnuts, and you don’t want to do the work yourself, feel free to substitute walnuts, pecans, or almonds (marcona almonds would be amazing in this).
Keywords: date night, weeknight dinner, indulgent pasta, brown butter pasta, vegetarian comfort food