I have loved the Old Spaghetti Factory since I was a little kid! I remember going and hitting all the buttons and crossing and re-plugging in all the wires in their old telephone operator board. I must have asked to go there for practically every birthday dinner. They always had crayons and color pages for the kids which was a bonus at a certain age! But their spaghetti! Oh their spaghetti! It could not compare with anyone else! I’m sure it’s so simple to make but I still haven’t figured it out… I’m getting closer though.
When I was a teenager, they introduced Mizithra Cheese as their new exciting dish. I was feeling adventurous that day, which was saying something. At that age, I was a very picky eater! Best decision ever! The first time I had this dish, I swooned! I though for sure this was something difficult to make and thus would only enjoy it at the restaurant. Turns out, it’s really easy! It’s certainly not a healthy dish so typically I serve it as 1/2 a plate with the other 1/2 spaghetti and marinara or meat sauce.
You may ask yourself, “What is Mizithra?” It’s a very dry goat cheese. Imagine feta meets Parmesan. It doesn’t spread or melt. In fact, I’m not entirely sure I’ve heard of other recipes for this particular cheese. Honestly, I’m OK with that because this is the best one!
Here’s what you need:
Yup, that’s it! I’ve tried adding other things to it and it never works. Just leave this puppy alone! You’ll thank me for it.
1 cup finely grated mizithra cheese
3 cups cooked pasta
1/4 cup unsalted real butter – in the stick! No substitutions!
Melt butter on medium heat
Once completely melted, turn up the burner a little and let it boil
Continuously whisk the boiling butter as it browns, about 5 minutes.
It will start to turn golden as it carmelizes and smell kind of carmelly as well. It will also start to bubble less. At this point, turn the heat down to low.
You don’t want the dark brown burnt detritus on the bottom of the pan, so slowly pour the caramelized butter into another pan. The burnt residue will sink to the bottom so just pour slowly and make sure it stays in the cooking pan!
Set the fresh pan with browned butter on the low burner, add your pasta and shredded mizithra.
Toss and leave on low heat until ready to serve.
Do not expect the cheese to melt, it won’t and you don’t want it to.
When I serve it, I sprinkle a little more on the top to look like a garnish.
If you’re like me, you’ll serve it with spaghetti and meat sauce. That’s how I used to order it at the restaurant. They complement each other perfectly. Some garlic bread and red wine tend to go nicely with the dish as well.