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Fettuccine with Brown Butter, Walnuts, and Shaved Goat Cheese

Fettuccine with Brown Butter, Walnuts, and Shaved Goat Cheese

Leigh Belanger and Rebecca Haley-Park
Pasta is a perfect blank canvas for meatless dishes. Here we focused on layering nutty flavors—walnuts, brown butter, and aged goat cheese—to create this satisfying dish.
Servings 6


  • 1 pound fettuccine use fresh, if possible
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup toasted walnuts skins rubbed off and finely chopped
  • 4 ounces aged goat cheese such as La Cabra del Berrocal, finely grated
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • ¼ cup toasted bread crumbs
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons finely minced chives
  • Ground black pepper to taste


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package directions until al dente. Reserve ½ cup pasta water, then drain pasta and toss with olive oil to prevent sticking. Set aside.
  • Melt butter in a small sauté pan over medium heat (it’s helpful to use a light-colored pan so you can see the butter turn color). Stir constantly until butter begins to darken. When butter reaches a caramel hue, remove from heat and transfer to a heatproof measuring cup, leaving any browned bits behind.
  • Set pasta pot over medium heat and add 4 tablespoons brown butter. Return pasta to pot and toss to coat. Drizzle in about half the pasta water and toss to coat, reducing heat to medium-low if pasta starts sticking.
  • Continue tossing and stirring, drizzling in water as needed to make a shiny, emulsified sauce. Add walnuts and toss to combine. When sauce has emulsified and walnuts are clinging to the pasta, add half the cheese and stir to combine. Taste and add salt as needed.
  • Divide pasta among serving bowls (you may have some left over). Drizzle remaining brown butter over the top of the pasta, followed by remaining shaved cheese, bread crumbs, chives, and a few grinds of black pepper. Serve.

Rebecca Haley-Park

Rebecca Haley-Park is culture's former editor and resident stinky cheese cheerleader. A native New Englander, she holds a BFA in creative writing from University of Maine at Farmington.

Leigh Belanger

Leigh Belanger is culture's former food editor. She's been a food writer, editor, and project manager for over a decade— serving as program director for Chefs Collaborative and contributing to local newspapers and magazines. Her first book, The Boston Homegrown Cookbook, was published in 2012. She lives and cooks in Boston with her family.