Bucatini with Brown Butter and Breadcrumbs

From Gail Norton and Matthew Altizer

2014 Jul/Aug

The anchovies melt into the buttery sauce, losing their fishiness and lending a delicious umami.


  • 1 lb. bucatini
  • sea salt to taste
  • 1 c. butter
  • 2 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
  • 1 c. panko breadcrumbs
  • chile flakes to taste
  • 1 lemon, zested, then juiced
  • 1/4 c. finely chopped Italian parsley


Bring a large pot of water to a boil, season it generously with salt and cook the pasta
according to the directions on the package.

While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a small sauté pan and cook it until it just starts to turn brown, then add the anchovies. Cook the anchovies for 1 to 2 minutes, or until they dissolve into the butter. Pour about 1/4 c. of the butter mixture into a large mixing bowl.

Add the breadcrumbs to the pan and cook them over medium heat until they start to brown, stirring constantly. Add the chile flakes and lemon zest to the breadcrumb and anchovy mixture. If the breadcrumbs are starting to get too brown – on their way to burnt – pour them into a bowl.

When the pasta is cooked, reserve a cup of the cooking liquid and drain the pasta. Tip the pasta into the large mixing bowl with the brown butter and mix to combine, adding extra pasta water if it looks too dry. Transfer the pasta to a serving platter and sprinkle with the breadcrumbs, followed by the parsley. Serve immediately.

Serves 4 to 6.