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Weekday dinner inspirations: Brown Butter Pasta and Eggs and more

Mon | Oven lovin'

Serve Oven-Baked Fish tonight with a green salad studded with dried cranberries and walnuts, and a brown rice pilaf (Near East makes a version). For the fish, soak white fillets in buttermilk, then dredge through seasoned bread crumbs. Bake on a greased baking sheet in a 400-degree oven for 15 minutes, flipping halfway.

Tues | Simple taste

Brown Butter Pasta and Eggs (recipe below) is one of those "say what?" recipes. But give it a try and you'll seem some simple ingredients transformed. Acclaimed chef Gabrielle Hamilton of Prune in New York City uses 2 sticks of butter in her version but I scaled it back to 1 and added some chicken stock. Suit yourself, but do give it a try.

Wed | Rotisserie chicken

Fast Chicken Noodle Soup starts with shredded chicken from your rotisserie bird. In a large saucepan, saute chopped onions and celery plus diced carrots for about 5 minutes. Add lots of chicken broth, plus a teaspoon or two of Italian dried seasonings and heat. Rather than add the noodles to the broth, cook in water in a separate pan. Add noodles at the last minute with the chicken. Biscuits and butter on the side.

Thurs | Finger food!

Make dinner a party tonight with appetizers such as fruit kebabs, shrimp cocktail, hummus with pita dippers and bite-sized brownies for desserts. Or better yet, make dessert sandwiches with big Pepperidge Farm cookies and vanilla ice cream. Think about what you like to graze on at a party and adapt it for the family.

Fri | B-Y-O-Beef

Marinated Flank Steak is Friday's reward served with herbed potatoes and steamed green beans. Dump the beef in a bag with your favorite marinade and refrigerate before you head out for the day. Before putting the drained and patted dry meat on the grill, start the potatoes by sauteing sliced Yukon Golds in olive oil. When the taters are done, sprinkle with a mixture of fresh herbs and season with salt and pepper. Don't forget to slice the beef against the grain, which makes it more tender.

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Brown Butter Pasta and Eggs

Kosher salt, to taste

8 ounces fresh pasta, such as fettuccine or tagliatelle

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

3/4 cup pine nuts

4 eggs

1/2 cup chicken stock

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Freshly grated nutmeg to taste or a few shakes of ground (optional)

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add pasta; cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 4 minutes. Set a strainer over a bowl and drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water.

Melt butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add pine nuts and cook, stirring often, until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer pine nuts to a bowl. Working in two batches, crack eggs into butter and cook, spooning butter over yolks until whites are set but yolks are still runny, about 3 minutes. Gently transfer eggs to a plate and keep warm. Add chicken broth to skillet and heat for a couple of minutes. Add pasta and half the pine nuts and toss until hot. Stir in some of the pasta water to create more sauce if needed; season with salt and pepper.

To serve, divide pasta among 4 serving plates and gently top each with a fried egg. Sprinkle pasta with remaining pine nuts, Parmesan cheese and nutmeg, if using.

Serves 4.

Source: Adapted from The New Comfort Food: Home Cooking from Around the World from Saveur magazine (Chronicle Books, 2011)

Weekday dinner inspirations: Brown Butter Pasta and Eggs and more 04/12/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 12, 2011 4:30am]
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