Pasta with Butter and Parmesan Cheese Recipe

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6 votes | 4975 views

I've been cooking this recipe for so long, and it is so simple, that I have often overlooked posting it. We had it with our grilled chicken this week, and finally I'm putting it online. Marcella Hazan says this method of cooking pasta has eclipsed all others as the favorite amongst Northern Italians. And I must say it's among the favorites in my family too. It makes a fantastic accompaniement to any grilled meat or vegetable. We use Barilla Plus pasta, which makes it a much healthier side than if prepared with plain semolina (white) pasta.

Prep time:
Cook time:
Servings: 4


Cost per serving $1.21 view details


  1. Put hot, just cooked and drained pasta in a warm serving bowl. Add 4 Tbsp of grated cheese and toss rapidly, trying to touch the cheese to each bit of pasta.
  2. Add half the butter and another 4 Tbsp of cheese, and continue to toss thoroughly.
  3. Add the remaining cheese and turn the pasta over with it 3-4 times.
  4. Add the remaining half of the butter, toss until it has melted, flavor as you like with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, and serve at once with some additional cheese at the table. (Adding salt and pepper would not be approved by purists, but I generally add a small amount if serving with a mildly flavored meat or vegetable.)
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Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving %DV
Serving Size 149g
Recipe makes 4 servings
Calories 605  
Calories from Fat 153 25%
Total Fat 17.5g 22%
Saturated Fat 10.11g 40%
Trans Fat 0.0g  
Cholesterol 45mg 15%
Sodium 450mg 19%
Potassium 287mg 8%
Total Carbs 85.7g 23%
Dietary Fiber 3.6g 12%
Sugars 3.26g 2%
Protein 24.49g 39%



  • Nancy Miyasaki
    August 16, 2010
    We cook this often as a side dish, and all of us love it. We almost always have spaghetti, butter and parmesan cheese around, so it doesn't require any planning to throw together. And it takes less than 20 minutes start to finish. Our kids could eat it as the main course, but we make sure they get some vegetables and meat down along with it.
    I've cooked/tasted this recipe!
    • Rich Osborne
      August 17, 2010
      My (Northern Italian) girlfriend introduced me to this, and I love it - though I try and eat it sparingly, given the butter and cheese! She tends to mash the parmesan and cheese together first, and then add it to the pasta that has been very briefly drained so that it still keeps a fair bit of liquid and is still pretty wet. We also like a fair sprinkling of black pepper on it, lovely stuff.

      If there's one trick above all I think I've learnt from her when it comes to pasta, it's don't drain it too much. Keep a little liquid from the boiling and use it to ensure you give your pasta sauce the right consistency.
      I've cooked/tasted this recipe!
      This is a variation
      • Winelady Cooks
        August 18, 2010
        I just adore this recipe. My sister makes this frequently and she was the one who told me to make it. I make it exactly as you do. Sometimes I add crumbled ricotta salata on top (it's one of my favorites on pasta) just for a little variety and I always add a lot of fresh chopped parsley.

        Thanks for sharing,
        I've cooked/tasted this recipe!
        • Frank Fariello
          August 22, 2010
          A classic--makes a great midnight snack as well!
          I've cooked/tasted this recipe!


          • ShaleeDP
            December 24, 2012
            I love pasta! I am always on the look for different style and flavors to enjoy it . My kid will like this too.
            • Dave McFarland
              August 18, 2010
              John, I like your pasta & cheese recipe. I've got a different cheese for you to try. Next time you make this recipe, instead of using Parmesan cheese, try Mizithra cheese. It's a Greek goat cheese, and it comes as a hard cheese, too. It is awesome. I promise you that you will love it, and never use Parmesan cheese again. Parmesan cheese is very good though. I have made your recipe, but I used EVOO and butter with Parmesan cheese. The dish couldn't be simpler.
              • suzybel56
                August 17, 2010
                This is one of my son's all time favorites. He started eating left over spaghetti with just butter, salt & pepper and then graduated to adding the parmesan. I thought he was weird until I tried it, yum.

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