Spaghetti with Browned Butter and Mizithra

By: Eleni Saltas

Some enjoy the smell of roses or the earthy aroma after a rainfall. I enjoy the smell of garlic sauteing in a pan of melted butter. Browned butter and garlic is a common first step to many popular dishes of course, so I make sure to get those good smells often. For a recipe that can be whipped up during Cheesefare week, and one that rids your fridge of both cheese and butter, try spaghetti with mizithra cheese. 

This dish was made famous by the Old Spaghetti Factory, but it was a staple in a yiayia’s kitchen long before that. The magic of the dish begins by adding butter to a warm pan, followed by garlic. Once a golden foam forms, and those good smells hit your nose (don’t get distracted though, you don’t want burnt garlic), add your al dente spaghetti of choice to the pan. Toss with grated mizithra in the pan and you’ll have yourself a quick meal that smells just as good as it tastes.

Prep Time:


Total Time:




Good For:



  • 16 ounces (1 pound) of your favorite spaghetti or pasta
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter (1 large stick)
  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¾ cup to 1 cup reserved pasta water
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper, to taste
  • ¾ cups grated mizithra cheese, plus more for serving*

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

Add salt to a large pot and boil water. Cook the pasta until al dente.

Step 2

About 5 minutes before the pasta is done, melt the butter in a large saucepan or skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic cloves. Cook until butter is golden and foamy, being careful not to burn.

Step 3

Add the spaghetti directly from the pot to the pan, and add in reserved pasta water as needed. Stir in the grated mizithra and toss well.
Serve with fresh ground pepper and extra mizithra cheese.

Recipe Notes

*If you can’t find hard grated mizithra, other great choices are Pecorino Romano or grated Paremesan.