Austrian comfort food

This is a simple, delicious comfort food that’s great for late nights (like tonight, when Mike and I didn’t get out of class until 11:30PM). Follow the directions for browned butter first – make about a cup of it and store it in the refrigerator for three weeks or the freezer for up to four months. If you put the pasta water on to boil just before you brown the butter, this will only take the time it takes to cook the pasta!

Pasta (egg noodles are best, but any kind is good – make however much you want to eat!)
3 Tbs sugar
3 Tbs toasted walnuts, finely chopped
1 1/2 Tbs browned butter

To toast the walnuts: put 1/4 to 1/2 cup of walnuts in a pan – I love cast iron. Heat them, stirring occasionally, until they’re toasted! You’ll know they’re toasted by the smell, and the darkish brown color.

To brown the butter: melt 1/2 cup (minimum – any less and it’s very easy to burn the butter) of butter over medium heat. Once it has melted, lower the heat so that it stays just at a simmer. It will foam, and after it foams it will begin to clarify. Heat, stirring occasionally, for five to eight minutes. Do this until it becomes a deep golden color – not brown, as the name would imply. Remove from heat, stir for 30 seconds to stop the cooking, and pour into an airtight container.

To make the dish:
Drain the pasta and put it back in the pot you cooked it in. Add the browned butter, sugar, and toasted walnuts. Stir until everything is evenly distributed. Note: you don’t need much butter, and can cut it down to a teaspoon if you’d like…that’s the beauty of browned butter! You get a much more intense flavor so you can really minimize the fat you include.

The husband review: “It’s like peanut brittle – you just can’t stop eating it. Delicious. Amazing.”

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