Serious Eats: Recipes

Dinner Tonight: Pasta with Brown Butter, Capers, Walnuts and Spinach

[Photograph: Blake Royer]

Doesn't it always come back to pasta? Dinner can take many forms and draw from many cuisines, and I love being challenged as a cook and learning new things. Yet sometimes all I want is what I know will be delicious. Something I know I can cook well, that I've loved all my life. For me, that's pasta. Always will be.

This particular recipe is adapted from a recent issue of Esquire magazine, from chef Joey Campanaro of The Little Owl in New York City. They asked him to come up with a trio of pasta dishes with a short shopping list—the other two are a tomato-bacon sauce and one with white anchovies with peppers. I was drawn to this recipe with nutty brown butter and the "tangy punch" of capers. Quick-wilted baby spinach gives it an earthy flavor, and a handful of walnuts are the crunch, while Parmesan brings it all back home. A simple dish, but one with an unexpected depth of flavor and a cooking time as long as it takes the pasta to finish.

Pasta with Brown Butter, Capers, Walnuts and Spinach

About the author: Blake Royer founded The Paupered Chef with Nick Kindelsperger, where he writes about food and occasional travels. After a year in Estonia, he's now living in Chicago.

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