Penne with Brown Butter, Arugula, and Pine Nuts

  • Total: 19 min
  • Prep: 5 min
  • Cook: 14 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
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Ingredients

Dressing:

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 large lemon, zested and juiced

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Pasta:

1 pound penne rigate pasta

1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, at room temperature

4 cups baby arugula

1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

1 cup grated Parmesan

1/2 cup toasted pine nuts (see Cook's Note)

2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained

Directions

  1. For the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, and pepper until smooth. Set aside.
  2. For the pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water.
  3. In a high-sided skillet, whisk the butter over medium heat until melted. Simmer until foamy. Continue to cook until the butter has a nutty aroma and turns a caramel color, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the pasta, dressing, arugula, tomatoes, Parmesan, pine nuts, and capers. Toss until coated, adding the reserved pasta water, 1 tablespoon at a time to loosen the sauce, if needed. Transfer to a large bowl and serve.

Cook’s Note

To toast the pine nuts, arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F oven until lightly toasted, 6 to 8 minutes. Cool completely before using.

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