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4.86 from 7 votes

Spaghetti with Parmesan, Pine Nuts and Brown Butter Sauce

This is a flavorful, simple dinner that comes together in no time. It's the ultimate comfort food!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: spaghetti with parmesan
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 398kcal
Author: Jennifer Farley


  • 8 ounces spaghetti, or pasta of your choice
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock, homemade or low-sodium (see notes)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Prepare the pasta according to package instructions. Before draining, reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water and set aside.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Garnish with more grated parmesan cheese, if desired.


Replace the chicken stock with vegetable stock for a vegetarian recipe.


Calories: 398kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 215mg | Potassium: 213mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 710IU | Vitamin C: 1.2mg | Calcium: 166mg | Iron: 1.4mg