Pasta with Butter and Cheese  

Pasta Burro e Formaggio 

Pasta cu Caciu e u Burru  


If you can boil water you can make this pasta.
This dish is made with boiled pasta, cheese and butter. Some people may say: Sicilian using butter? But butter is used in
for baking, to make some gourmet dishes and used with marmalade on bread for breakfast or for the children’s afternoon snack and not too often in cooking.
Butter goes well with some recipes but it is not recommended for sautéing food because it burns at a low temperature, to use it, the butter should be combined with olive oil.
In Sicily
, prior to 1492 when by order of Ferdinand of Spain the Jews were expelled from the island, butter was the only fat used in cooking.
The Jewish population living in
was numerous and used large quantities of olive oil. For religious reasons they consumed it and traded it in their commerce with other European Jewish communities.
When they had to depart from
, the oil trade ended and the surplus olive oil was utilized by the locals replacing the production of butter with the manufacturing of cheese.
But let’s make the Pasta al Burro.


Serves 4  


  • 1 lb. pasta, spaghettini or tagliarini (fettuccine)   
  • ½ lb. unsalted butter, at room temperature   
  • Salt and pepper to taste   
  • ½ lb grated Parmesan or your preferred cheese   



Cook pasta in 5 quarts of water with 2 tablespoons of salt, following manufacturer’s directions, less 2 minutes.
When pasta is cooked, drain and reserve 1 cup of pasta water.
Return the pasta to the pot.
Keeping on a medium heat, fold in the butter and add some of the pasta water as needed. Toss to coat pasta thoroughly. Remove pot from the heat and add 4 tablespoons of cheese. Mix it well, taste for salt, and add more pasta water if needed.
Serve immediately, with remaining cheese and the black pepper mill.


In modern time, heavy cream is used instead of water to make the pasta creamer.

To give extra gusto to this pasta mix minced garlic, lemon zest or chopped basil with the butter.