Pull from your pantry for this easy lemon butter pasta


By Melissa Clark, The New York Times

Lemon, olive oil and garlic are the foundation of so many pantry meals, a harmonious trio I use to flavor pretty much everything — fish, chicken, vegetables, grains — stopping only at dessert because, well, garlic. Often spiked with chile flakes and Parmesan, the combination makes any dish taste deep and complex, without your having to do much to get there. It’s a no-brainer, easy alchemy that never fails.

Yet, as rock-solid as this grouping may be, there are times when a person gets the itch to shake things up. This is especially true in early January, when new ideas hold the promise of bold tomorrows, and dependable old habits suddenly need a refresh.

And so recently, while cooking up one of my go-to pastas, I reached right past my trusty bottle of extra-virgin and grabbed some butter from the fridge instead. I heated it in a skillet until it melted and browned, filling the kitchen with a sweet, nutty scent.

Then, in place of sizzling thin slivers of garlic in the fat as is my wont, I threw in sliced almonds, which resemble garlic but taste mellow, not pungent. I let them toast and turn golden, so they could accentuate the flavors of the brown butter and add crunch.


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