spaghetti with browned butter and mizithra cheese

spaghetti with browned butter and mizithra cheese

That last post made me all nostalgic. I’d like to do some posts on family and food and memories; all I need to do is traverse a couple hundred miles on the trail of some old photos. No biggie. I’m just giving you fair warning, in case that sort of thing sends you into fits of snores. You can delete me forever. Or whatever. Maybe just plan to avert your eyes for a few days.

This post was actually brought to you by a fit of nostalgia. The Old Spaghetti Factory was a favorite childhood haunt. It’s an “Italian” chain that looks like it was plucked right off a Clue board. Lots of shiny dark wood wainscotting, jewel tones, antiques. A converted streetcar, with seating inside, sits in the center of the cavernous room.

I really can’t tell you how the food is; I always ordered the same thing, a meal that would haunt the nightmares of any lactose-intolerant human. They serve what are called “complete meals,” whether you like it or not. Drink: milk. Appetizer: salad, bread. Main Course: Spaghetti with browned butter and mizithra cheese. Dessert: spumoni ice cream.

Mizithra spaghetti is their signature dish. The menu described it as a “toothsome treat” and claimed that Homer lived on it while composing The Iliad. Suuuuuuure.

Mizithra is a greek cheese that I’d describe as the love child of soft ricotta, parmesan and a sheep.

Don’t overthink that one. I know I didn’t!

And come on, Spaghetti Factory! Toothsome? That’s a kind way of saying that eating mizithra is like chewing on ground up pencil erasers. I would not recommend it for your next cheese board.

grated mizithra cheese

Somehow, though, pasta, rich browned butter and mizithra make a perfect trio. Mizithra just recently became available in our regular supermarket, so I got the chance to make it at home.

Were my fond memories of the stuff tainted by nostalgia?

Nope. It was absolutely delicious. Tasted exactly as I remembered.

Okay, what’s a favorite childhood food that you miss? Go!

 

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Spaghetti with Browned Butter and Mizithra Cheese

1 pound dry spaghetti

2 sticks butter (yes, that’s the original recipe. I almost always use just 1 stick of butter; if the pasta seems dry when you’re putting it all together, toss with a little olive oil)

3/4 pound mizithra cheese, grated

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil; cook pasta according to package directions.

While the pasta is cooking, brown the butter. An excellent tutorial can be found here.

Drain pasta, then toss with browned butter (plus olive oil if using) and mizithra cheese.




  • Your post brought a smile to my face. I love The Old Spaghetti Factory as do my kids. Really you can’t break tradition. Who can resist sitting in the trolley cars or bed tables? I personally don’t even want to know just how many calories this dish contains!

    • Jen

      I hope it’s still around when I have kids! I’m a third-generation mizithra addict :)

  • Christy

    Of course you wouldn’t cut up myzhithra on a cheese board. That would be ludicrous. It’s meant to be served finely grated over pasta, like a saltier, smoother, better tasting parmesan. If you start eating it by the slice, it would be salty, more akin to anchovies without the fishiness instead of pencil erasers.

  • Jen

    absolutely ludicrous!

  • eatyourvegetables

    absolutely ludicrous!