Hello everyone!!! So sorry that I have been MIA for so long. Ditto to everything Whitney has said. Sometimes life just gets crazy, but I’m SO glad to be back! The good news is that we survived the first two weeks of school- academics, mental breakdowns, oven fires and all. Will we survive the next two? Only time will tell…
For a long time I have been very interested in brown butter. What’s so great about it? And what is it anyway? Well I finally went to my favorite Italiana, Giada to figure it out. She has a recipe for Ravioli with Balsamic Brown Butter and it looks amazing. While I was reading her recipe, which in fact looked very simple, I realized that brown butter is literally browned butter. Who knew! Nothing fancy! Just butter in a pan for a few minutes until it turns brown.
I knew I had to make this dish. I went into our pantry and our fridge. Yikes, we didn’t have ravioli! We didn’t even have real butter! I decided to take matters into my own hands and do some swaps. Instead of ravioli, I used penne and instead of butter I used light margarine. Next time I will definitely use butter because butter is better and there’s no buts about it!
Penne with Balsamic Brown Butter
3/4 pound penne
10 cherry tomatoes, halved
6 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup walnuts, crushed
handful of basil
salt and pepper to taste
Cook pasta as directed. In a separate pan, heat up your butter. Let it melt and then brown in the pan. Then add in the tomatoes. Let the butter soften the tomatoes then take everything off the heat. Add in the balsamic vinegar, basil, salt and pepper. Use a slotted spoon and put your pasta right into the pan with the sauce. When all the pasta has been mixed in, add the walnuts.
The dish is really very simple. It didn’t take much longer than heating up tomato sauce from a jar. The results are truly delicious. I think the addition of balsamic vinegar to the brown butter is really great. I personally think that the taste of butter is very strong and the balsamic really cuts the buttery taste. Of course, if you love butter like my wonderful co-blogger, Whitney, maybe you don’t really need the vinegar. Whatever floats your boat. I decided to add in the basil and tomatoes because they seem to be a really great compliment to balsamic vinegar. I think you could also add any vegetable that’s in season. The best part of the whole dish is the walnuts. They add a little crunch and really pull all the flavors together. I would normally use pine nuts but walnuts are definitely a great substitution- and a LOT less expensive.
I hope you all try this recipe! I’m so glad to be back in the blogosphere! Also I’m really surprised that my computer didn’t red underline the word “blogosphere” – that means it’s actually a word. Wow!
Glad to be back!