Brown Butter Pasta

Brown Butter Pasta

Chef Gabrielle Hamilton of the New York City restaurant Prune shared this recipe for pasta, which she tosses in brown butter and pine nuts, and then tops with sunny-side-up eggs, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and nutmeg.–Gabrielle Hamilton

LC Pardon Us, But Your Eggs are Dripping on Your Book... Note

This tempting tangle of fettuccine, brown butter, and eggs makes paltry pantry items somehow seem perfectly lovely for brunch, lunch, or a late, late, late supper. If you’re anything like us, you tend to devour food while you devour food magazines, books, and blogs. It’s a sort of 4-D experience. In recognition of this, we bring you this pasta recipe by Gabrielle Hamilton in conjunction with our first online LC Book Club, which features her memoir, Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef?

Brown Butter Pasta

  • Quick Glance
  • 20 M
  • 30 M
  • Serves 4
5/5 - 1 reviews
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  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 8 ounces fresh pasta, such as fettuccine or tagliatelle
  • 2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup pine nuts
  • 4 eggs
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and nutmeg, to taste


  • 1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 4 minutes. Place a strainer over a large bowl and drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water. Set aside.
  • 2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the pine nuts and cook, stirring often, until golden brown, 7 to 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pine nuts to a bowl. Working in two batches, crack the eggs into the butter and cook, spooning butter over yolks, until the whites are set but the yolks are still runny, about 3 minutes. Transfer the eggs to a plate and keep warm. Add the pasta and half of the pine nuts to the skillet and toss until hot. Stir in just enough of the reserved pasta water to create a sauce, and season with salt and pepper.
  • 3. To serve, divide the pasta among 4 plates. Top each pile of pasta with a fried egg and sprinkle everything with the remaining pine nuts and the Parmigiano-Reggiano and nutmeg.


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  1. I made this last night, and oh my God, was that a lot of butter. I got cold feet at the last minute, and only used one and a half sticks, and it was still pretty excessive. The recipe was delicious, but I think next time, I’ll just use six tablespoons of butter. On the other hand, who knew pine nuts fried in butter could be so addictive? I could not stop munching on them while cooking. Also, I fried some sage leaves in the butter and the flavors were to-die-for.

    1. An, it is a lot of butter, but it’s so delicious. Maybe adding a bit more pasta? I love the idea of adding the sage. It would add a lovely earthy herbaceousness to the dish.

  2. Bring on the butter! I love that there are three forks in the picture above, like people couldn’t wait long enough to get their own plate. Or else it’s just one very enthusiastic eater.

  3. That sounds absolutely delish! I do something similar with cheese ravioli sans the egg. Will definitely give this one a try… too easy not too! Butter and cheese… how can you go wrong?

  4. What a curious combination of ingredients, all of which I adore. Absolutely no reason not to try it! A hunk of bread on the side is a must-have; it would be a crime to waste the egg yolk, cheese, and brown butter that the pasta couldn’t pick up. “No Brown Butter Left Behind”–I’d forfeit dessert to adhere to the policy.

  5. Sounds delish, but I just couldn’t make a pasta recipe that contains 4 tablespoons of butter per serving. Seems excessive.

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