This recipe is built around butter. Copious amounts of butter for which there is no substitute. Brown butter is an indulgence you must experience to understand and fully appreciate. Kind of nutty, with a deep, rich, savory flavor that’s incredibly delicious. It’s made just the way it sounds, by cooking butter until it turns a caramel color. Here, this step is done with almonds, infusing all of it’s deep, buttery goodness into the nuts and vice versa.
My love for spaghetti squash is no secret, subbing it for the fettuccine in the original recipe was a natural as I had some on hand and already cooked, just calling out for a drizzle of brown butter and a blanket of freshly fried egg. Along with the crunchy almonds and salty Parmesan cheese, the egg takes it over the top with it’s gooey, fatty yolk making for an immensely comforting and deeply satisfying meal.
1. If using pasta cook according to package directions in plenty of salted water. Drain reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water.
2. Meanwhile melt butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add nuts and cook, stirring often, until golden brown, about 10 minutes, remove with a slotted spoon.
3. Crack eggs into butter and cook, two at a time, spooning butter over yolks, until whites are set but yolks are still runny, about 3 minutes. Transfer eggs to a plate and keep warm. Add squash or pasta and half the pine nuts to skillet and toss. If using pasta, stir in some of the pasta water to create a sauce, and season well with salt and pepper.
4. To serve top squash or pasta with a fried egg, sprinkle with nuts, Parmesan, and nutmeg, if desired.
In French cooking brown butter is called a ‘beurre noisette’ or hazelnut butter.
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