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Brown Butter Fluffy Za'atar Pasta


  • 1 packed cup fresh herb leaves (such as parsley, oregano, mint, thyme, or a combination)

  • 1 ounce Parmesan cheese (1/2 cup firmly packed freshly grated or 1/3 cup store-bought grated), divided

  • 1 pound dried long pasta (such as spaghetti or bucatini)

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1 tablespoon Fluffy Za'atar (more for serving)

  • 1/2 lemon

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for the pasta

  • pine nuts optional


  1. Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Coarsely chop 1 packed cup fresh herb leaves. Finely grate 1 ounce Parmesan cheese (about 1/2 packed cup) or measure out 1/3 cup store-bought grated.

  2. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to package instructions for 1 minute less than al dente. Meanwhile, start the sauce.

  3. Cut 8 tablespoons unsalted butter into a few pieces and place in a large skillet. Melt over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon fluffy za'atar and continue cooking, swirling the pan occasionally and scraping up any browned bits at the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon, until the butter has a nutty, fragrant aroma and is a toasty-brown color, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Carefully squeeze the juice from 1/2 lemon . Add 1 salt and stir to combine.

  4. When the pasta is ready, reserve 2 cups of the cooking water. Drain the pasta.

  5. Pour the reserved pasta water into the sauce and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Simmer, scraping up any browned bits at the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon, until the liquid reduces by half, about 3 minutes. Add the pasta and toss continuously until the sauce thickens a bit more and coats the pasta, and the pasta is al dente, about 1 minute more.

  6. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the herbs and half of the Parmesan and toss to combine. Serve garnished with the remaining parmesan and a generous sprinkle of fluffy za'atar and pine nuts.

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