Some ideas to further branch out the flavor here: brown the butter before adding the pasta; add minced garlic to the butter and cook it until just barely golden at the edges; minced fresh parsley, chives, or basil on top; crushed salted pistachios, thinly sliced scallions, grated parmesan or pecorino, and many grinds of black pepper stirred in the end. Or we can just let buttered noodles be buttered noodles, and proceed below.
- Kosher salt plus some pinches of flaky sea salt to finish, if you wish
- 1 16-ounce package of egg noodles or box of dried pasta
- 6 tablespoons salted butter, divided, plus more as your spirit requires that day
- Any extras you see fit, listed up top
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and add noodles, cooking them to just the tiniest bit below done, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Before you drain them, reserve 1 cup of the cooking water. Drain the noodles. Melt 5 tablespoons of the butter in the empty pot. [Here is where you’d brown it, or cook in garlic, should you wish.] Add the drained pasta and most of the reserved cooking water. Cook them together over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until all but a thin puddle of butter-water has absorbed and the noodles are nicely coated, splashing in more cooking water as needed to keep things moving. Season with salt, as needed. Transfer the noodles to a serving bowl, scraping all of the buttery gloss at the bottom of the pot over the noodles, and finish the bowl the last tablespoon of butter, letting it melt over the noodles. Add a few flakes of sea salt [or any of the other ingredients listed above, if you wish] and dive right in.