Spaghetti with Parmesan, Pine Nuts and Brown Butter Sauce - a simple, comforting dinner.

It is very difficult going through life as a space cadet. I am constantly emailing myself reminders because I know most thoughts won’t stay in my head for more than a moment. I’m the only person I know who can repeat the two thing I need from downstairs, out loud, all the way down the stairs and still forget one of the things. 

Spaghetti with Parmesan, Pine Nuts and Brown Butter Sauce - a simple, comforting dinner.

I keep multiple lists in an attempt to stay organized- tasks, groceries, recipes, etc. I scribble reminders all over my calendar. Being a space cadet is not only annoying, it’s time consuming and sometimes a bit exhausting. I waste a lot of time being distracted, trying to remember things or realizing I forgot about certain things.

Spaghetti with Parmesan, Pine Nuts and Brown Butter Sauce - a simple, comforting dinner.

What’s nice about this spaghetti with parmesan, pine nuts and brown butter sauce is that it requires very little thinking on my part. I always have these ingredients in the kitchen so there’s no concern about forgetting to pick them up. It takes very little time to prepare so there’s no need to think about it earlier in the day. It is, in a way, the perfect dinner for a space cadet like me.

Spaghetti with Parmesan, Pine Nuts and Brown Butter Sauce - a simple, comforting dinner.

Spaghetti with Parmesan, Pine Nuts and Brown Butter Sauce
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4 servings
  • 8 ounces spaghetti (or pasta of your choice)
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ cup chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 2 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Prepare the pasta according to package instructions. Before draining, reserve ½ cup of the pasta water and set aside.
  2. In a sauté pan, melt 1 tablespoon of butter over medium low heat. Add the pine nuts and toss to coat. Stir periodically until the pine nuts are golden brown and fragrant. Add the garlic and stir for another minute. Set aside.
  3. In a small saucepan, melt the remaining 6 tablespoons of butter. Turn the heat up to medium and whisk constantly until the butter begins to brown. You can push the color a bit (more brown color equals more flavor) but be careful that it doesn't burn. When the butter is nice and brown, add the chicken stock and whisk together briefly. Allow the sauce to reduce down by about half or until it reaches a desirable sauce consistency, about 5 minutes. Season with a bit of salt to taste.
  4. In a large bowl, toss together the cooked pasta, pine nuts, garlic, brown butter sauce and lemon juice. Stir in the parmesan cheese. Add some of the reserved pasta water as needed to help the ingredients combine.
  5. Garnish with more grated parmesan cheese, if desired.


More Pasta Recipes

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Savory Simple – Edamame, Mint & Arugula Pesto Pasta
Savory Simple – Cold Sesame Soba Noodles
Cravings of a Lunatic – Roasted Red Pepper and Italian Sausage Pasta
Crumb Blog – Eggplant Parmesan Pasta Bake
Sweet Remedy – Bacon & Eggs Breakfast Mac and Cheese with Hash Browns

  • Liz @ The Lemon Bowl

    This photo is unbelievable. All of them.

  • Norma | Allspice and Nutmeg

    You’re an artist. Plus I know this is delicious cause butter and pine nuts and pasta together are magic.

  • Kelli @ The Corner Kitchen

    As always, your photos of gorgeous! This is such a perfect throw-together-weeknight-dinner. Thanks for helping me decide what to cook tonight :)

  • Laura (Tutti Dolci)

    Gorgeous photos, love the brown butter sauce!

  • Kayle (The Cooking Actress)

    Mmmmmmm! I love this pasta, browned butter and parmesan are THE BEST!

  • Laura Dembowski

    I’m right with you on being a space cadet lately. I don’t know if I have too much on my mind or what, but I have to write everything down. Of course that doesn’t help if I forget the list! I hope I remember this delightful and easy to make pasta!

  • Nazia @ ThisBakerGirlBlogs

    The simplicity of this dish is just beautiful. And I’m exactly the same when it comes to remembering things – although I’m pretty sure I won’t be forgetting this recipe anytime soon! :)

  • Christina Bollinger

    I’m with ya there fellow Space Cadet…..every day. I think we should have badges or maybe a secret handshake, but then again, we’d prob. forget to wear the badge and how the handshake goes. Great dish – one of my go to favorites!

    • Jennifer Farley

      hahahaha so true!!

  • Marie @ Little Kitchie

    I love simple pastas like this… nothing better!

  • Erika

    Your photos always blow me away.. These are just stunning.. I love a pasta that’s simple but still full of flavor. You nailed it!

  • Liz@Virtually Homemade

    Don’t worry, I ‘m very forgetful too! It can be tiring. Yummy pasta!

  • Kathryn

    Beautiful! This sounds like the perfect quick weeknight meal.

  • Sophia @ NY Foodgasm

    Sounds AMAZING! I would add a little lemon zest for color and to brighten it for spring. Looks gorgeous too!

  • Sophia @ NY Foodgasm

    Question: do you use a background board?

    • Jennifer Farley


  • Mary Frances

    Oh my goodness, you are NOT the only space cadet. I get my workout in just climbing up and down the stairs a dozen times to get two things to the car. Thank goodness for reminders on phones! And Your photos are incredible.

  • Deepa @onesmallpot

    I’m the same! It’s nice up here in my own little world and I have no intention of leaving. And yes, if it’s not written down, it doesn’t get done :-) I love a good, simple yet tasty pasta dish like this.

  • Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic

    I eat pasta similar to this pretty often, but never add nuts – good idea for extra texture a little bit more proten!

  • Consuelo @ Honey & Figs

    This pasta dish sounds unbelievably delicious – the flavor combo must be out of this world amazing, I’m sure. And your pictures are gorgeous – I’m in awe.

  • eat good 4 life

    I love simple pasta recipes just like this. The perfect quick dinner or lunch :-) Awesome picts as always!!

  • Shashi @ RunninSrilankan

    Love the addition of lemon in this dish – and your photos are mesmerizing – gorgeous!

  • Tracy | Peanut Butter and Onion

    I’m the exact same way… if I don’t write it down or send myself an email, or set it in my calender on my black berry, it doesn’t happen. This pasta is right up my alley!

  • kelley {mountain mama cooks}

    From one space cadet to another- this pasta looks amazing. Simplicity at it’s best!!

  • Jenny @ BAKE

    Simple but perfect!

  • Dishesfrommykitchen

    Wow Mindblowing pictures, Brown butter in pasta is terrific…love it .

  • lovin

    It’s very likely you are my brain sister. I’ve never met anyone who could get as lost as I can on the way up the stairs. “just make a list!!!!” they say. Well, what happens when you lose the list? I can’t wait to make this, it looks divine.

  • Melinda

    I made this today evening and at the end of the dinner my husband didn´t say “thank you”.No. He said “I love you”! :-D So thanks so much for this great recipe! Already on my list of favourites!