As we ease ourselves into Fall, we’re sharing some of our favorite transitional recipes that utilize the flavorful comforts of fall mixed with the remaining freshness of summer. Enter today’s recipe where rich browned butter is seasoned with notes of citrus, tossed with pasta and sweet peas, then topped with toasted walnuts and breadcrumbs.
You might think lemon balm is just good for tea. Well, think again. It’s subtle herbaceous, citrusy note lends a refreshing take on a hearty pasta dish like today’s.
Though the bulk of our summer harvest has slowed down, the herbs are still flourishing, particularly the lemon balm.
I had a vision for this herb, that I have several times now mistaken for mint, in a savory setting.
That being said, when I decided to treat the family to a browned butter pasta, I got the idea of mixing in sweet peas and fresh lemon balm. It offers the usually rich dish a bit of lightness with its lemony, minty, sweetness.
To tie it all together, I toasted chopped walnuts and breadcrumbs to serve over the rigatoni along with lots of shaved Parmesan.
If you don’t happen to have lemon balm on hand, feel free of course to use lemon zest in its place. If you want the extra greenery, chopped fresh parsley or basil tossed in here with do the trick.
This Brown Butter & Herb Pasta is a delicious transitional dish that evokes both the flavors of a lingering summer and burgeoning fall.
Brown Butter & Herb Pasta
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 4 1x
- 1 lb. rigatoni or your favorite pasta
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon balm, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small sweet onion, chopped
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 2 teaspoons chili flakes
- 3/4 cup sweet peas
- 1/2 lemon zested, for topping
- Shaved Parmesan, for topping
- 1/4 cup Italian style breadcrumbs
- 1/8 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- Begin by toasting your walnuts in a small pan over medium high heat. Once the nuts are golden and toasted, remove promptly so they don’t burn. In the same pan, toast the breadcrumbs and olive oil until the breadcrumbs have turned a deep brown color. Toss together with the walnuts in a small bowl and set aside.
- Prepare the pasta as directed.
- In a large cast iron pan, melt the butter down and continue to cook until it has browned. Add the chopped herbs, garlic, and onion. Once the onions are clear, season with salt, pepper, and chili flakes.
- Add the pasta to the pan and toss together with the sweet peas.
- Top with the toasted breadcrumb mixture, fresh lemon zest, and shaved Parmesan. Serve & enjoy!
Keywords: pasta, brown butter, main dish, dinner