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Brown Butter Broccoli Pasta

There’s something so deliciously decadent about browned butter — it’s nuttiness and aroma can warm you before you even indulge! Tossed with gluten-free chickpea pasta and sautéed broccoli, this is a hearty meal or side dish the whole family can enjoy.

Browned butter is the nuttier, toastier, sexier sibling of regular butter — and I’m sure we can all agree butter makes things taste better. But brown butter? Things just taste RICHER.

Of course, like with many great things, brown butter does take a little time and energy to coax out. As you cook it slowly, the milk fats start to caramelize and you’re left with something just short of miraculous!

Since a butter-based sauce can lend to a heavier feeling dish, we kept it lighter by using my favorite Banza chickpea pasta shells and added a ton of nutritious broccoli — it’s all about balance not exclusion, am I right?

This pasta dish makes for the perfect accompaniment to a protein but is substantial enough to enjoy as your main dish. What sparks more joy than a fire, a good show and a big bowl of warm pasta?!

Here’s how you’ll make my Brown Butter Broccoli Pasta:

  1. Start by browning your butter by cooking on medium low heat and stirring frequently. Color and aroma will start to develop over 5 or so minutes.
  2. In a large pot, boil water and season well with kosher salt. Cook pasta according to directions, subtracting one minute.
  3. Add walnuts to the browned butter to toast lightly, then add fresh chopped broccoli florets (stems removed).
  4. Sauté broccoli for a few minutes before adding in fresh chopped garlic. Cook for 1 minute then add remaining butter and balsamic vinegar.
  5. Use a slotted spoon to strain pasta from pot directly into broccoli pan. Use a measuring spoon to add 1/2 cup of pasta water into pan as well.
  6. Add in 1/2 cup of shredded, shaved or grated parmesan and toss gently to coat. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
  7. Serve warm and enjoy!

I made this pasta as a side dish to my 30-Minute Honey Mustard Glazed Chicken and they were delightful together! I hope you enjoy this pasta all winter long 🙂

Looking for other Pasta Recipes? Check these out!

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Brown Butter Broccoli Pasta

Deliciously decadent brown butter pasta tossed with sautéed broccoli, toasted walnuts, balsamic vinegar and plenty of parmesan cheese!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb. dried pasta shells I love using Banza chickpea shells
  • 4 tbsp. salted butter divided
  • 1/2 cup chopped raw walnuts
  • 1 head broccoli chopped into florets, stems removed
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup shredded, grated or shaved parmesan cheese plus more for serving
  • kosher salt + black pepper

Instructions
 

  • Boil a large pot of water over high heat. Once boiling, add 2 tbsp. kosher salt then your box of pasta. Cook pasta according to box directions, subtracting one minute of cook time.
  • Start brown butter by heating a large non-stick skillet over medium low heat then add 2 tbsp. butter. Stir frequently to melt. Continue to cook and stir as darker color and aroma will start to develop (about 5 or so minutes). Watch carefully as you do not want to burn! Look for a deep, brown color and nutty aroma.
  • Add in chopped walnuts and coat with butter, toasting for 2-3 minutes. You should start to smell the walnuts as well!
  • Turn heat slightly up to medium and add in chopped broccoli florets. Season broccoli with kosher salt and pepper, about 1/2 tsp. each. Sauté until crisp on some edges, about 5 minutes.
  • Add minced garlic and cook for another minute, then add remaining 2 tbsp. of butter and the balsamic vinegar.
  • Once pasta has cooked, use a slotted spoon to add pasta directly to broccoli pan. Using a measuring cup, add 1/2 cup pasta water to broccoli pan as well and toss gently to coat.
  • Top pasta with parmesan cheese. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Serve warm with more parmesan on top!
Keyword balsamic vinegar, brown butter, chickpea pasta, parmesan, pasta, walnuts
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