Old Spaghetti Factory Browned Butter And Mizithra Cheese Recipe

The Old Spaghetti Factory is a time-honored restaurant tradition for many American families. Whether it be to celebrate a birthday or anniversary, a place to gather after the big game, or the go-to spot for dinner before homecoming, so many of us have cherished memories dining there that exceed those of other Italian-style chain restaurants. And with those sweet, sweet memories inevitably come cravings for some of our favorite dishes from the Old Spaghetti Factory.

Let's face it, as much as we love going out to eat and being served, sometimes you just want to enjoy your favorites from the comfort of your own home. Chef Tara Rylie of RylieCakes feels the same way and therefore, has created this copycat recipe of Old Spaghetti Factory's brown butter and mizithra cheese pasta. It's one of her favorite dishes and will surely soon be one of yours, too. Follow along as Rylie walks you through the five simple steps to make this dish at home.

Gather your ingredients

The best part about this pasta is that it is extremely simple to make, yet produces the most decadent flavors through just a few high-quality ingredients. For this recipe, all you'll need is angel hair pasta, butter, mizithra cheese, romano parmesan cheese, and fresh parsley. If they haven't come this way already, finely grate both kinds of cheese and finely chop the parsley.

Your butter can be unsalted or salted, as both will brown the same. However, if you do choose to go with unsalted, you might want to add a pinch or two of salt to your pasta when serving and eating the final dish. This just depends on your taste buds but, if you're an avowed salt lover, keep this seasoning tip in mind.

As for the cheeses, romano parmesan is available at most grocery stores but mizithra, a Greek kind of sheep of goat's milk cheese, can be more difficult to find. Higher-end grocery stores or ones that tend to have larger cheese sections are more likely to carry mizithra. You can always go to the Old Spaghetti Factory itself, as most of their restaurants actually sell the exact mizithra cheese they use! If you absolutely can't find mizithra, then ricotta salata cheese is a great substitute. We found more grocery stores had this cheese in stock, though try to make an effort to find mizithra as best as you can.

Cook your pasta just right

To begin this recipe, cook your angel hair pasta according to the directions on the package. We prefer to follow the directions for al dente pasta, which is when pasta is cooked to a chewy yet firm texture. Al dente pasta holds its sauce well and tastes better than mushy, overcooked pasta. 

The most important thing to note here is that when your pasta is done cooking, you will of course want to drain your pasta. However, do not rinse it! The starch clinging to the outside of your angel hair, released as the pasta cooks in boiling water, will help the brown butter adhere to your pasta. Rinsing the pasta not only prevents it from absorbing all the brown butter, or any sauce for that matter, but will also cool it down too much as well. Once the pasta has been drained, place it in a large, heat-resistant bowl.

How to brown butter

While your pasta is cooking, roughly cube the butter and place it in a small saucepan over medium heat. Let the butter melt and then allow it to begin to bubble. To ensure your butter is cooking evenly, you can rotate your pan during cooking or tilt it slightly to swirl the butter around. That said, do not stir your brown butter with a spoon or spatula, as we don't want to disturb the flavor magic that's about to happen. 

After a few minutes, the bubbles will begin to fade and your butter will start to change color, getting steadily darker as the water content of the butter begins to evaporate and the milk solids start to caramelize. Watch it closely at this point as your butter will brown quickly from here and you don't want to allow it to burn. Brown butter is done when it is dark golden in color and smells nutty. Once you've achieved that state, quickly remove the brown butter from heat and be prepared to pour it over your cooked pasta right away.

Combine all your ingredients to finish this recipe off

Once you have drained your pasta, place it in a large mixing bowl and pour your hot brown butter over top as soon as it's ready. Use tongs to toss the pasta in the fragrant brown butter, thoroughly coating every last piece. Then add your finely grated mizithra, romano parmesan cheese, and one or two tablespoons of fresh, finely chopped parsley. Toss this mixture again until your pasta is well coated in cheese and herbs.

Serve your brown butter pasta immediately, garnishing with even more cheese and parsley. And be sure to bring your appetite, too. Brown butter doesn't reheat well, so this dish is best when eaten hot and fresh, leaving no leftovers. Given the rich taste of this dish thanks to the cheese and butter, chances are good you won't have to worry about leftovers anyway!

Old Spaghetti Factory Browned Butter And Mizithra Cheese Recipe
5 from 24 ratings
Sometimes you just want to enjoy your favorite meals from home, like this copycat recipe of Old Spaghetti Factory's brown butter and mizithra cheese pasta.
Prep Time
20
minutes
Cook Time
15
minutes
Servings
4
servings
bowl of brown butter pasta with parsley
Total time: 35 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 pound angel hair pasta
  • 1 cup salted butter
  • ½ cup mizithra cheese, finely grated and packed
  • ½ cup romano parmesan, finely grated and packed
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped and divided
Directions
  1. Cook angel hair pasta according to directions on the package. When finished, drain but do not rinse the pasta. Place drained pasta in a large mixing bowl.
  2. While pasta is cooking, roughly cube butter and place it in a small saucepan over medium heat. Let the butter melt and begin to bubble. To ensure the butter is cooking evenly, rotate the pan or tilt slightly to swirl the butter around. Do not stir.
  3. After a few minutes, bubbles will begin to fade and butter will start to change color. Watch closely at this point as butter browns quickly from here. Brown butter is done when it is dark golden in color and smells nutty. Remove from heat immediately.
  4. Pour hot brown butter over the top of the drained pasta. Use tongs to toss the pasta in butter.
  5. Add both kinds of grated cheese and one or two tablespoons of parsley. Toss again until pasta is well coated in cheese and herbs.
  6. Serve immediately, garnishing with leftover parsley.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 968
Total Fat 58.1 g
Saturated Fat 35.7 g
Trans Fat 2.1 g
Cholesterol 151.5 mg
Total Carbohydrates 85.7 g
Dietary Fiber 3.7 g
Total Sugars 3.3 g
Sodium 735.1 mg
Protein 26.0 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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