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Pasta with Browned Butter-Asparagus Sauce

Pasta with Browned Butter

I love browned butter sauce. I sometimes omit the asparagus and lemon juice and just serve pasta with the browned butter. That's delicious too, and it is also served that way at the Spaghetti Company restaurants.


  • 1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 pound pasta*
  • 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

* Spaghetti, penne or whatever pasta you have on hand


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the asparagus and boil until bright green, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the asparagus from the pot and transfer to a colander to drain off excess water.
  2. Add the pasta to the pot of boiling water and cook according to package directions until the pasta is al dente.
  3. In a separate, large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until golden-brown and nutty in aroma. Add the minced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  4. Stir the cooked asparagus and penne into the brown butter, tossing to coat. Continue to cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
  5. Stir in half of the Parmesan cheese.
  6. Squeeze the juice from the lemon into the pasta mixture, being careful to avoid any seeds.
  7. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  8. Top with lemon zest and the remaining Parmesan cheese, to serve.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

If you want more sauce than this makes, simply double the butter and garlic.

If you prefer your sauce more lemony, simply add the juice of two lemons.