The Lady gets a lot of requests for “that cheese they put on the brown butter and spaghetti at The Old Spaghetti Factory“. Since The Lady has never been to TOSF and neither have I because it’s one of those pesky “No Pets Allowed” establishments… The Lady did some research and learned that the cheese they use is Mizithra, a dry, crumbly sheep’s milk cheese from Greece.
At the kiosk where The Lady used to work as a monger, she sold Ricotta Salata, the Italian equivalent of Mizithra and, even better, it’s a less expensive cheese…
So… The Lady did some more research and found a knock-off recipe of the dish served at TOSF and she changed it up and came up with the following:
Amber Butter and Ricotta Salata with Pasta
Amber Butter Procedure: Cut butter into small pieces and melt over medium heat. Bring butter to a slow boil (3 to 5 minutes).
Once the butter begins to boil, stir constantly to prevent residue from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Butter will foam and rise. Continue stirring to prevent the butter from overflowing (can cause a fire if the butter touches your heating element).
Once the butter stops foaming and rising, cook until amber in color (about 1 to 2 minutes). It will have a pleasant caramel aroma.
Remove from heat and allow sediment to settle to the bottom of the pan.
Strain amber butter into a small bowl. Do not disturb the residue at the bottom of the pan.
Boil the pasta of choice until Al Dente. Drain pasta and add amber butter and Ricotta Salata.
Toss everything together.
The amber butter can be stored in the refrigerator and reheated in a microwave as needed.
You can use a combination of Ricotta Salata and Pecorino Romano, if preferred.
Adapted from recipe at: http://www.cdkitchen.com/recipes/recs/23/Spaghetti_with_Burnt_Butter38272.shtml