The Old Spaghetti Factory’s Mizithra Pasta

4.91 from 10 votes
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Our version of The Old Spaghetti Factory’s Mizithra Pasta is AMAZING. It is a rich and buttery dish that your whole family will love.

A landscape view of mizithra pasta sprinkled with mizithra cheese and basil on top

Mizithra Pasta

I loved going to The Old Spaghetti Factory as a kid. I loved sitting in the streetcar and getting spumoni ice cream with every meal. The absolute best part of the experience, though, was the Mizithra Pasta. It was buttery and cheesy and I licked the plate clean every time. I love when we can nail down a favorite dish from one of our favorite places. This recipe is very simple – only 3 ingredients – but it is sure to please any dinner crowd.

What is Mizithra Cheese?

Mizithra (sometimes spelled Myzithra) cheese is a Greek cheese made from goat’s and sheep’s milk. When it is first made, it resembles ricotta cheese, but then it can be salt-dried into a harder cheese. This harder type of Mizithra cheese is considered Greek cuisine’s parmesan cheese and is most commonly used to sprinkle over fresh pasta. The salt drying process gives it a salty flavor that adds so much to this dish!

Where to Find Mizithra Cheese

Finding Mizithra cheese can be a little tricky. I usually have to look in the deli section of the grocery store in their “fancy” cheese display. It can be spelled Mizithra or Myzithra. Most stores sell it by the pound and offer different sized blocks that you can choose from. It is a little pricier of a cheese, but I promise it is so worth it!!

Mizithra pasta being lifted from a white casserole dish with tongs

What is Brown Butter?

You might be thinking “What is brown butter? I’ve never seen that at the store,” and you’re right! Brown butter is made by cooking regular butter until it turns a lovely brown color. Cooking the butter gives it this incredibly deep flavor that goes well with savory dishes, like this Mizithra Pasta, but also sweet dishes like our Brown Butter Pecan Pie!

How to Make Brown Butter

The most important thing to remember when making brown butter is to cook it over medium heat. You don’t want it to burn!! Start with a light colored pan, so you can see the color of the butter easier. Once the butter melts and gets hot, it will start to foam. I like to pick up the pan and swirl it around a little to help me see the color through the foam. Once the butter turns a deep golden brown, and you start to smell a little bit of a nutty smell – it is ready! Transfer it to a heat-safe dish and let the milk particles sink to the bottom while it cools. Then transfer it to a different bowl, trying to leave most of the solid particles behind. You can also strain it through a cheesecloth or fine mesh strainer.

How to Make Mizithra Pasta

An overhead view of Mizithra Pasta in a round casserole dish

The Old Spaghetti Factory’s Mizithra Pasta

4.91 from 10 votes
Our version of The Old Spaghetti Factory's Mizithra Pasta is AMAZING. It is a rich and buttery dish that your whole family will love.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 9 mins
Total Time 14 mins
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 8

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Cook pasta in a large pot of salted, boiling water until al dente. Drain.
  • While pasta is cooking, start slowly melting butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until golden brown. The butter will foam up and rise, but just keep stirring until it turns brown.
  • Remove pan from heat and pour melted butter into a tempered glass bowl or measuring bowl. Allow the sediment to settle at the bottom of the bowl for a few minutes.
  • Do not stir up the sediments in the pan, you want the clear butter separated from the sediment at the bottom.
  • Pour the browned butter into a separate bowl, again, keeping the butter separated from the sediment.
  • Toss the pasta with the butter when it is ready.
  • Reserve ½ cup of Mizithra cheese. Stir the remaining cheese into the butter coated pasta.
  • Sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Garnish with sliced fresh basil (optional).
  • Serve immediately.

Video

Nutrition Information

Calories: 505kcalCarbohydrates: 43gProtein: 16gFat: 30gSaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 80mgSodium: 531mgPotassium: 160mgFiber: 2gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 895IUCalcium: 255mgIron: 0.9mg

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About the author

Erica Walker

Erica lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband, Jared, an attorney, and her beautiful three girls. Beyond the world of recipes, she loves adventuring with everything from kayaking, to cruising, to snowboarding and taking the family along for the thrill ride.

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Comments

  1. A couple of things:
    1) If you can’t find Mizithra cheese, an acceptable substitute is a fine grated combination of Romano cheese and Kasseri cheese.
    2) I have never had basil sprinkled on my Browned Butter and Mizithra Cheese Spagetti when I have eaten at Old Spagetti Factory and we eat there frequently and order this every time. I will sprinkle on Black Pepper, but that would be it.
    3) I am thrilled they now serve Steamed Broccoli sprinkled liberally with Mizithra Cheese and will order that as an a side dish to the Spagetti.

  2. Sprouts Farmers Market (stores mostly in the western US, but now starting to appear in other regions of the country) carries the Old Spaghetti Factory branded mizithra cheese, shredded in a tub. The one closest to me in Greenville, SC, didn’t have it on the online list of products carried in that store, but it did indeed have it in the dairy case when I visited recently (April). So if you have a Sprouts near you, try there. Also, The Fresh Market chain sells solid disk of mizithra cheese (find it in the gourmet cheese case), if that supermarket chain is near you. You’ll have to shred or grate it yourself, but it may keep longer than the pre-shredded version sold at Sprouts.

  3. 5 stars
    This is so great to find because I love the Old Spaghetti Factory’s “The Homer” which is this dish. Just browned buttered and mizithra cheese – if you haven’t tried it, it’s really good. I’ve only been able to find mizithra cheese twice in my community – the one store that sold it closed, but I just discovered it this afternoon in the store that replaced it, so snatched it up a big ball. As I understand this cheese is often not available in early spring as the goat’s milk goes to newborn kids. It’s kind of expensive but so worth and lasts for about a year. Never had it with fresh basil, but I have a basil plant I can pinch some leaves off. Will be making this tomorrow.
    Thanks!

    1. You are going to love this recipe! Good to know why Mizithra cheese can be hard to find. Thank you for your comment.

  4. 4 stars
    I work at OSF…an easy step to avoid worrying about the butter getting mixed up is to run it SLOWLY thru a coffee filter while still hot, it catches all of the browned proteins, and leaves a beautiful clarified browned butter

  5. 5 stars
    Sounds delicious. I think I never tasted Mizithra cheese. I must look in my market for it. I will give this try for sure.

  6. 5 stars
    WOW I love this at Olive Garden. So so yummy. And can’t believe what a delicious difference the browned butter makes. Thanks for this recipe!

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