Brown butter (also called beurre noisette,) contains one of my favorite flavors in cooking and baking.  It contributes a rich, nutty flavor to a dish.  Brown butter is commonly added in pasta dishes or pastries, such as the ever-popular madeleines.

Browning butter is simple.  On medium heat, melt butter and stir or whisk frequently.  The butter will foam up a little, which is the first sign that it’s about to brown.  Keep going!  Little brown specks will start to form at the bottom of the pan, and shortly after, the butter will turn a rich golden brown and have a nutty aroma.  Immediately remove the butter from heat.  It’s easy to burn the butter, so keep an eye on it!  I suggest making it in a light-colored pan (stainless is my preferred type) so you can easily see the browning progress.

Adding brown butter to linguine instantly makes it special.  Rich, delicious, and elegant, this dish is sure to impress those you serve it to.  Even despite the simple ingredient line-up.  The higher quality ingredients, the better, since each ingredient has its chance to shine in this dish!

-1/2 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs
-6 1/2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
-1 Medium Cauliflower, cut into florets
-Coarse Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
-1 Pound Linguine (fresh preferred)
-5 Fresh Sage Leaves (or 1/2 teaspoon dried sage)
-1 Shallot, minced
-1/2 cup Fresh Parsley, minced
1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan, (fresh preferred) plus more for serving

Melt 1 1/2 Tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat.  Add cauliflower and 1/4 teaspoon of salt.  Add 1/4 cup of water (if you have chicken stock on hand, it’s great too!) and cook for 3-4 minutes, until cauliflower becomes a bit tender.

In a large pot of boiling water, cook pasta until al dente, according to package directions.  Or, if fresh pasta, cook for 1-2 minutes.  Drain pasta and reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water.  Put drained pasta in skillet with cauliflower to keep warm.

Meanwhile, in a small skillet, melt remaining butter (5 Tablespoons) over medium heat.  Add sage and shallot, and cook until butter is golden brown.  Pour butter into the large skillet with the pasta.  Season with salt and pepper.  Sprinkle freshly grated Parmesan and breadcrumbs over pasta.

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